David Compton, director of the Barry County Office of Emergency Management, is offering a reward for the return of four computer flash drive units that were stolen from his vehicle on Sunday, Feb. 12.
"I was at home in Monett for just a few minutes and went into the house before heading to the emergency management office," Compton explained. "I got distracted and stayed inside longer than I intended to, and when I returned to my car in the driveway, my briefcase, a case of green and black case of compact music discs and a backpack were missing."
Also missing were field operations manuals for emergency responders and cold weather gear, Springfield maps and measuring devices used by paramedics for onboard patient EKG strips.
Inside the backpack was a separate orange and black flash drive carrier that contained four 2-gig flash drives: one silver, one white and two black.
The incident occurred on Kale Street at about 3 p.m. on Sunday. Compton notified the Monett Police Department, and working together, they were able to recover the briefcase and several other items that were taken from Compton's car.
"The information contained on the flash drives represents hours of work," Compton said. "I am willing to offer a reward to get the drives back intact, no questions asked."
There was also a lot of personal data stored on the drives.
"Those drives contain photos of myself and other local emergency responders at hurricane deployments and other incidents over time," Compton said. "Those are irreplaceable and not of any value to anyone other than myself."
Compton is asking for the return of the flash drives intact.
"Whoever took them can call me, or anonymously turn them into the office of emergency management, the Monett Police Department or The Monett Times and make arrangements for the reward," Compton said.
Compton can be reached at 417-737-1142.