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Thieves take items valued at $6,000 from the camp located northwest of Scappoose

COURTESY PHOTO - Thieves took $6,000 worth of items from Camp Wilkerson in late March and also vandalized the camp and spread trash on the site, located 16 miles northwest of Scappoose.Thieves broke into Camp Wilkerson last month and stole roughly $6,000 worth of items, the county's facilities supervisor estimated.

Park staff discovered the break-in on March 25.

Tools were stolen from utility shops and a golf cart was also taken from the county park, located 16 miles northwest of Scappoose.

"It was mostly pretty minimal vandalism," said General Services Supervisor Lindsay Elder.

The office and two shops at the park were broken into in the incident.

Further, the camp's restrooms were vandalised with graffiti and trash was spread all over. A parks employee described the vandalism as "nothing broken, but malicious."

A sheriff's deputy investigated the damage after county staff discovered the trash, graffiti and missing equipment. The park didn't have security cameras at the time of the incident, but does now, Elder said.

This isn't the first time equipment has been stolen from the park either.

"The valuable tools had already been stolen from Wilkerson, but it was picked over again," a parks employee told Elder in an email report of the incident.

The camp's valuable tools — "Valuable means anything over $100 and included a backpack blower," Elder explained — were stolen in mid-January, which led county staff to change the locks.

Staff locked the camp's gates following the incident in March, but those locks were later cut, though no more damage or theft took place.

The 280-acre county park is a popular wedding venue. Parks staff reports that they will have to do some painting and cleanup to restore the camp to its former state, but said none of the damage is permanent.

Last week, Columbia County commissioners approved an order to close county parks for overnight use, except for long-term stays at Scappoose RV and Hudson-Parcher parks.


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