Editorial: Agencies to blame in boat fee thefts
When thieves swiped $10,000 from boat fee collection boxes along the East Shore in recent weeks, a number of questions came to mind.
How would the thefts affect the boat inspections vital to protecting Lake Tahoe against invasive species? Why were thousands of dollars sitting overnight in accessible boxes? What measures would the Nevada State Parks, the Tahoe Resource Conservation District and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency take to make sure thefts of this magnitude didn’t happen again?
It is inexcusable and unacceptable that $10,000 sat in relatively unprotected boxes overnight. It makes even less sense that a firm policy wasn’t laid out ahead of time for the collection of cash. Leaving thousands of dollars laying around shows a lack of foresight and understanding of the simple criminal. Parks, TRPA and TRCD are accountable for losing $10,000, money which isn’t easy to come by for locals or tourists in these economic times.
We’re not excusing the crime. Those who stole from the boxes stole from the lake, as TRPA Spokesman Dennis Oliver aptly put it. It’s our hope the perpetrators are found, arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They’ve put Tahoe at risk of a dangerous aquatic invasion, an extremely serious crime and one deserving of the harshest possible punishment.
But, we must cast a critical eye to those who allowed for this situation in the first place. We don’t cast blame, but we do demand accountability, and we ask the involved agencies to step forward and admit their errors.
Few in Tahoe mind paying a little extra to keep our azure vista, our gem of the Sierra, safe. We just ask those we trust with the responsibility of doing so act with the utmost care. In this case, they failed.
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