UPDATE (Wednesday, 11:36 a.m.) — Police found the stolen equipment in a parking lot Wednesday morning on the OSU campus.
By Heather Turner
CORVALLIS, Ore. — Someone stole nearly $75,000 worth of scientific equipment from Oregon State University researchers, and now police are trying to track it down.
OSU researchers say they were preparing to head to the coast to study the ocean water, so they had their van all packed with equipment so they could leave early the next morning.
They say some time Saturday night, someone broke into that van, stealing most everything.
Corvallis police say someone had smashed a window of the van that was parked at one of the researcher’s homes, stealing nearly $75,000 worth of scientific equipment.
Researchers say the “hyperpro radiometer” that was stolen is used to measure the clarity and the color of the ocean water.
OSU researchers do have another instrument they can use, but say this will still set them back.
“It gives us much less flexibility to do the research that we want to do. So in that respect, yes it affects us significantly, the flow of the work. I know the work will be done at the end,” said OSU Oceanography Professor Ricardo Letelier.
Researchers say the stolen equipment is useless to anyone but themselves, and wouldn’t even be able to be sold without the proper software and calibrations.
Corvallis police are still investigating and looking for the stolen items. If you have any information, you’re asked to call them.