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Thieves Steal Rogers County Man’s Disaster Relief Equipment

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A Rogers County man wants to find the thieves he says stole thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment used for his disaster relief work.

Robert Murphy says an ATV and a brand-new trailer were taken from his driveway. He said he wants his stuff back so he can be prepared to help others in case of a disaster.

"I can't replace it. I just can't afford to do that," he said.

For years, Murphy spent most of his time volunteering for Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief.

“It's my full-time job. Well, hobby," he said.

By being a part of the organization, Murphy said he's able to be an early responder after destructive storms.

Wednesday, he left home with his disaster relief trailer and ATV padlocked in his driveway. When he came back, both were gone.

"I went to a funeral for one of our members up in Collinsville and left about 1:00 in the afternoon. I got home around four and it was gone," Murphy said.

He said the thieves got away with nearly $21,000 worth of items essential to his disaster relief efforts, and he wants it all back.

"It means a lot of people won't get the help they need when disaster hits,” he said. “We're right in the beginning of tornado season."

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said these types of thefts are not uncommon.

"There is a rise in these types of thefts," Walton said. "So, we encourage everybody to secure their items the very best they can."

For Murphy, it's not about the money, but about doing the right thing, and, hopefully, being able to lend a helping hand in case disaster strikes.

"Just give it back. It's God's ministry. Let us have it back," he said.

If you know anything about the crime, you’re asked to call the Rogers County Sheriff's Office at 918-342-9700.

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