Thief makes off with service club's beer trailer – Simcoe Reformer

Port Dover Kinsmen take $30,000 hit
PORT DOVER – The loss could be as high as $30,000 following the theft of a refrigerated beer trailer this weekend from the Port Dover Kinsmen Club.
The club says it will carry on and fundraise at this May’s Friday the 13 th motorcycle rally despite the theft. However, funds that would’ve been re-invested in the community will have to be used to partially offset the loss.
“I’ll have to talk about this with our guys at our meeting Wednesday,” president Kyle Kitchen said Monday. “It’s definitely a hit but we’ll figure something out.”
The club announced the theft on social media. Kitchen says the club’s three trailers were chained together and had hitch ball locks in place when one of their refrigerated trailers was taken from Kinsmen Park on the east side of the lift bridge in Port Dover.
Paul Murphy, a past president and life-member of the Kinsmen, says the loss was not insured.
“It’s very difficult to get insurance for an events trailer,” Murphy said. “Unless you are somewhere hawking your wares every weekend, it’s difficult to justify the cost of insurance. It’s just a shame that some people need to steal from charities.
“It’s going to set us back, for sure. The hard part is we’ll have to spend money we could’ve donated to the community just to get back to where we were.”
Prior to the theft, the club owned two refrigerated beer trailers. The theft is especially difficult because the refrigeration units in both were recently upgraded.
Murphy says the unit stolen is useless as a trailer because it can’t handle a lot of weight. The usual procedure was to park it at an event, set it up on jacks, then load kegs into it to feed the taps.
The club’s beer trailers were built by Kinsmen life member Steve Bruley of Vittoria.
Bruley suspects the sophisticated unit will be cut up and sold for scrap. Bruley said it would be impossible to remove all exterior accessories and cleanly retrofit the holes with sheet metal patches, making the trailer easy to identify if it were put to another use.
“It would stick out like a sore thumb,” Bruley said.
“It’s a shame. They took the best trailer. As far as I’m concerned, it’s 30 grand out the window.”
The missing trailer had “SUDS WAGON” inscribed in yellow and orange on all sides, the Kinsmen say in a posting on social media. One side is lined with keg taps while the rear loading doors are inscribed “Bruley’s Draft.”
Anyone with information related to the missing trailer is asked to contact the Norfolk OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers of Norfolk and Haldimand at 1-800-222-8477. Callers to Crime Stoppers who help solve a crime are eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.
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