By Amanda Thomason March 23, 2022 at 1:06pm
Two search and rescue volunteer divers were waiting for the rain to let up on Friday in Atlanta, so they could continue searching for a missing woman when thieves stole over 30 pieces of equipment.
The two divers, Jacob Grubbs and Lindsay Bussick, are from “Chaos Divers,” an Illinois-based group that spends much of its time helping authorities and families look for missing persons.
“Chaos Divers began their adventures with the intention to begin cleaning out the waterways,” their Facebook page, which has 28,000 followers, states. “Along the way, they have created a movement and met some amazing people on their journey!”
“We drive around in the waters with the sonar equipment, that you know, the high-end equipment, to actually look at different bodies of water to see if we can find their lost loved one,” founder Jacob Grubbs told WAGA-TV.
As volunteers, they’re unpaid and rely on the equipment they’ve amassed to not only search for missing people, but to film their work and make videos they use to help support their mission.
In the past five months, they’ve helped find nine missing people. As they were looking to make that number 10, disaster struck.
The two were waiting out a downpour on Friday by visiting the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta, planning to return to Columbus to continue searching once the weather improved. When they returned to their truck that was parked in a private parking lot, they were met with a devastating sight.
Their truck had been broken into, and they were missing around $13,000 worth of equipment.
Cameras. A drone. A laptop. A hard drive containing the past three months of their work — the only copy. A handgun. All stolen.
“There’s these waves of anger and sad — sadness — and devastation,” Bussick explained.
“His laptop bag was gone with his new iMac computer, from there realized that my camera bag was gone then realizing that the drone was gone as well,” she continued. “The two biggest things are the fact that my gun is on the streets of Atlanta is, it’s devastating, and that hard drive.”
Surveillance video showed the break-in, and to add insult to injury, it took the thieves a mere few minutes to clean out all their hard-earned equipment.
“It definitely seemed like this was not their first time,” Bussick said. “It was a matter of two or three minutes that they did this.”
The two have released a detailed list of all the stolen equipment in the hopes that if they come up for sale in the area, someone will notice and report it.