Jeep used for wildlife rescue effort stolen


OCEAN SHORES — The Wildlife Rescue Jeep operated as a volunteer service by Beacon Pest Control was stolen and thousands of dollars worth of electronics and other items are missing after a break-in and burglary overnight Wednesday.

The Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Department is investigating and looking for the distinctive yellow and black Jeep Rubicon Wrangler used by the business in its longtime mission as the Wildlife Rescue Center for the North Beach area.

It appears the thieves broke in through a window and back door to the building located at 10 Oyhut St. at the entrance to Ocean Shores off Highway 115.

Owner Ed Mitchell lives next door, but said he was not home on Wednesday night or he would have heard the break-in, in which the thieves found the keys to the Jeep in a mail bag, and also made off with four 40-inch monitors, other electronics and a postage scale.

“They were very specific in what they took,” Mitchell said, believing the thieves might have seen some of the electronics inside. Among the items taken was an Xbox console. The thieves appeared to have gone through the drawers and files looking for cash or checks.

The Jeep, he believes, is either being stored and stripped at a garage or was taken to a remote area up the beach. It includes a winch and radio gear, and cost Mitchell $38,000 when he bought it seven years ago.

It was the first such burglary he’s had since opening the business in 1990. The biggest loss is the Jeep, which is used by the volunteer effort to assist wounded and stranded wildlife in the area. While discussing the burglary, a man came in with baby doves that apparently had fallen or been blown out of a nest.

“We’re getting into that season,” Mitchell said of the time when they often get calls for marine mammal rescues and need the Jeep to get around on the beaches.

Description of Jeep

The 2005 Jeep is bright yellow with the words Wildlife Rescue written on the sides and hood. The license: AHT-0453.

Anyone seeing the Jeep or having information about the burglary should call 911 or the Ocean Shores Police Department at (360) 289-3331.