Tips from Channel 3 viewers helps recover stolen Amateur Radio Club trailer
A trailer that was reported stolen on Friday night by the Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club has been recovered. That's according to the organization's Facebook page.
UPDATE: Just after the 4th of July, Gary Ownsby got a heartbreaking call. The Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club’s trailer, filled with expensive ham radio equipment, was gone. For ham radio enthusiasts, there's nothing more important than their equipment; the radios and gear that lets them communicate.
But Ownsby says the trailer was his main concern, because in an emergency, it takes their operation on the road.
“This is our premier platform to help when things go wrong,” he said. “When tornadoes and hurricanes and such come through, that's where we go. That's our go-to.”
Ownsby believes the thieves hooked the trailer to a club member's truck, which was parked nearby, and took off with that too. As soon as he got word of the theft, he put out the call for help to the extensive ham community.
"When things don't always go the right way, hams come together really quickly,” Ownsby said.
The club’s post was shared thousands of times. In the end, even after being seen by hams nationwide, it wasn't a radio operator who tracked down the trailer. It was a man named William Lowe.
“I saw it on the news and I thought 'wait a minute that looks like that trailer.’” Lowe tells Channel 3. “So I went back by and saw it actually was that trailer. I took the picture. And then I contacted News Channel 3.”
We passed along those pictures to Ownsby, who says he called the Chattanooga Police Department. They responded and made sure it was the right trailer. The whole recovery took only a few hours.
Lowe says he was just being a good Samaritan, doing what he hopes would be done for him. But Ownsby says his quick thinking made all the difference.
“It’s a reaffirmation that people are good. I mean who would think,” he said.
The ARC is still working with police to figure out who stole their trailer and the equipment inside. They ask if you have any information about who took it or where the stolen equipment has gone, call them at 423-308-3477.
PREVIOUS STORY: A trailer that was reported stolen on Friday night by the Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club has been recovered.
That's according to the organization's Facebook page. The group posted on Saturday alerting people to be on the lookout for the MPC trailer and a black Toyota Tacoma, both belonging to the Southeast Company.
The trailer was last seen on 7th Street in downtown Chattanooga and had quite a bit of amateur radio equipment inside.
Club President Gary Ownsby posted on the group's page Sunday morning saying they'd located the trailer. In the post, he also thanked all who'd helped spread the word about it being missing including Channel 3.
According to Ownsby, several Channel 3 viewers who saw the report commented and sent pictures with information that lead to the trailer's discovery.
He wrote in the post that they did lose some equipment, but that some was better than the entire trailer.