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Car theft nets 369K in Cloud Cap equipment

August 24, 2011

At 5:40 a.m. Aug. 14 Officer Juan Pulido responded to a reported car prowl at a residence near May Street and Rocky Road. The police report turned out to be significantly less than routine.

The overnight theft was reported by an employee of Cloud Cap Technology - a Hood River-based Goodrich company and producer of equipment for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

The items stolen from the vehicle parked outside the employee's residence included two UAS turret cameras that were to be used for demonstration at an UAS trade show.

The pair of camera's retail value is listed as $360,000.

"These cameras will have no value for the people who stole them because they are not operable without the software," said Ross Hoag, Co-founder and principle engineer for Cloud Cap. "They are also controlled items on the munitions list. If anyone tries to sell them, they will get themselves into a lot of trouble."

Cloud Cap is offering a reward for the return of the cameras, under a "no questions asked" policy. Notices have been posted on both Gorge.net, under the electronics tab, and Craigslist - Portland, under lost and found.

The $1,000 reward, for return of the stolen items or information leading to the return of the large tan colored rolling case with all contents in original condition, can be obtained by calling 541-387-2120 extension 245, where callers may leave a message.

"I'm sure whoever stole these has no idea what they are," said Hoag, also noting that the U.S. Department of State and the FBI have been notified of the theft.

Cloud Cap sales and marketing director, Kelly Garcia stated in a follow-up email that it "would require significant technical ability to actually make them operate."

Although the company is insured for the loss, Hoag stated, "We just want to get them back. That is the important thing."

According to Hood River Police Officer Juan Pulido's report, someone entered the vehicle Aug. 13, after 21:30 and stole a tan Pelican brand case containing the cameras and related technology items.

The vehicle's owner reportedly approached the car around 5 a.m. on Aug. 14 and noticed the black Honda CRV had been rifled through and the case stolen. The employee immediately called the police.

According to Pulido the employee stated that the vehicle had been locked the night before. The employee also stated that the neighbors were having a large party.

Pulido, at the time of the investigation, did not observe any evidence of forced entry. He did report that the exterior of the vehicle was very dusty and he observed hand prints on the door handles in the dust.

The Cloud Cap company description of the stolen TASE gimbal camera models states: "Small, lightweight gyro-stabilized camera systems … for a host of surveillance, inspection and monitoring applications."

The stolen items were specified as follows:

One TASE 300 Cloud Cap Technology UAV turret camera - approximately 7" x 7"x 9" and six pounds.

One TASE 400 Cloud Cap Technology UAV turret camera within plastic tube housing approximately 7" x 7" x 10" and seven and a half pounds.

One Cloud Cap Navigator GPS receiver

One Cloud Cap Piccolo SL laser altimeter

Various wire harnesses and cables

Flash thumb drives with video and software with labels on them made with a label maker

One small hard drive about the size of an iPhone.

Employee business cards

One large Pelican case 2'x2'x3', tan-colored

The employee told Pulido in the incident report that the camera equipment would not be able to be used, as the thieves did not have the operational software.

According to Jim Siekkinen, site director for Cloud Cap, the hard drive and thumb drives stolen with the cameras contained only marketing materials.

Leaving the employee's driveway on Aug. 14, Pulido noticed several vehicles in a field, apparently remaining from the neighbor's party. Pulido inspected them and noticed some of them had also been rifled through.

Neighbors were questioned but provided no additional information. Serial numbers for the cameras have been entered as stolen.

Anyone with information on the theft or equipment may also phone the Hood River Police Department at 541-387-5256.

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