Getting stuff swiped on the slopes |

Getting stuff swiped on the slopes

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra SunSki and snowboard gear sits on hand rails at Squaw Valley last week.

If it hasn’t happened to you, it has happened to someone you know – ski and snowboard theft. It certainly ruins the day, and if you’re low on cash, it can ruin the rest of your season.Two weeks ago, Truckee residents Gina Gonzalez and Lisa Lee headed to Sugar Bowl for their first day on the slopes this season only to find themselves angered and disappointed at the theft of Gonzalez’s new board. It was a slow day on the hill, and no ski-check service was available.”We looked for [the snowboard] and even dug around in the snow; we contacted security,” Lee said. “They red-alerted everyone, but no one was found with it.”Theft on the slopes is nothing new. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office estimates they get between 100 and 150 cases of ski and snowboard theft every season, according to Corie Quillinan, detective sergeant for the office, and that’s just counting the victims who fill out a police report.”Generally speaking, it’s people who leave their skis or boards unsecured when they go into a bar or a restaurant, and it’s discouraging when you read [the reports] because they are all so similar,” Quillinan said. “We hope that people secure their skis and snowboards at all times and won’t leave them unattended.”But Lee and Gonzalez were lucky; with a little patience and a kindly worded e-mail, Lee was able to score a new snowboard at cost for her friend, courtesy of Sugar Bowl’s Summit Snowboard Shop.”My brother has had his skis stolen, my mom has, I have, we all have. And I almost fell over dead when they said they were going to [help] pay for the board,” Lee said. “It was so cool of them to respond, and I am very grateful.”But the customer service Lee and Gonzalez received isn’t necessarily the norm, and skiers and boarders who feel entitled to a deal for being irresponsible with their equipment should think again.

“We don’t want to say that just because something gets stolen we are going to replace it,” said Sugar Bowl Resort Services Director Steve Beatie. “On days when we provide skier checks, we are not going to be as understanding.” For those who do find their equipment stolen, Beatie recommends getting in touch with resort security. If someone feels as though they have a greater need and wishes to speak to someone else, they should contact the resort’s hospitality manager via letter, e-mail, or phone.Northstar-at-Tahoe public relations manager Nicole Belt said some gear isn’t actually stolen.”Some people don’t want to buy new equipment right away because it often shows up after someone else realizes that they just grabbed the wrong stuff,” Belt said. “But if you think you are going to buy new equipment, you should come in within a few weeks of the theft.”

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