UKIAH, Mendocino County (CBS SF) — An Army National Guard Chinook helicopter was vandalized while parked at the Ukiah airport Sunday night.
A GPS aviation device and a satellite phone were stolen from the helicopter, which had been used for firefighting efforts, according to Army officials. The GPS device taken from the helicopter was a Garmin 496.
Army National Guard Col. Lou Carmona of Stockton, whose unit had been fighting fires in the area recently told the Press Democrat that the theft was disheartening to firefighters battling blazes on behalf of area residents.
A trailer belonging to a Sacramento National Guard unit had also been burglarized, and tools had been taken sometime over the weekend, according to Carmona.
The helicopter was the last Chinook CH-47 the National Guard had in California. The other 11 had been deployed to Afghanistan, according to Carmona.
The CH-47 can carry over three times the amount of fire retardant of the Guard’s Blackhawk helicopters.
The vandalism left a door broken on the helicopter, and mechanics would have to make sure nothing else was damaged before the aircraft could be flown.
Ukiah police were investigating the incidents.
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