Thieves target Union HS fireworks stand

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — Quick acting thieves stole dozens of fireworks from a local non-profit fireworks stand.

June Griffin, the booster club president for the Union High School band, said the three thieves crawled through thick scrubs and used a knife to cut into the tent located at Northeast 18th and Northeast 162nd.

Early estimates show the group is out nearly $4,000 in fireworks.

Ben Atwood, the stand’s security guard, said he and his son were doing a security check around 5 a.m. when they heard some suspicious noise.

Anyone with information on the theft is urged to call Vancouver Police. (KOIN)
Anyone with information on the theft is urged to call Vancouver Police. (KOIN)

They checked the area but did not immediately see anything.

When Atwood checked the back of the tent, he found the thieves taking several boxes of fireworks.

He said he chased the suspects for a short distance.

“They were lighting fast,” Atwood said.

Atwood is unarmed, and only volunteers security guard, which is not his primary job.

“I’ve been doing this for three years and it’s kind of disappointing that this happened,” Atwood said.

Griffin said the money raised would have gone directly to the Union High School band team. She said their annual fireworks sale is their biggest and most successful fundraising effort each year.

“This money usually goes to support their uniform fees, it goes to help if they have a band trip or any other kind of event that we have,” Griffin said.

She said it was “disappointing” to learn about the theft.

Under a new ordinance passed by the City of Vancouver, fireworks can only be sold from July 2 until July 4th.

Last year, stands in city limits were able to sell for a whole week.

“That change alone is going to affect our overall sales,” Griffin said.

Atwood believes the suspects had a getaway vehicle nearby.

Anyone with information on the theft is urged to call the Vancouver Police Department.

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