One or several people dug up the pole, unbolted it from the anchor, dropped the call box and stole the solar panel mounted on top.
Installed in June 2018, the Purdon Satellite Call Box was identified as an action item by the Yuba River Public Safety Cohort in order to decrease emergency response delays. The Safety Cohort is a multi-agency workgroup that includes Federal, State and local agencies and organizations that have identified various initiatives in order to promote public safety and law enforcement efforts at the South Yuba River.
With approximately 1,500 visitors to the Yuba River each day during the summer season and a lack of cell service due to its remote location, there is a heightened public safety hazard with response times that are upwards of twenty minutes before emergency responders can reach the area.
But that did not resonate with whomever decided to steal the solar panel and deprive visitors to Purdon of a lifeline in case of emergency.
The front panel of the call box was broken off and it is unclear if the satellite phone itself is still operational. Nevada County Office of Emergency Services is working with the vendor to determine the status of the box and the necessary repairs.
The Purdon call box was the first of its kind in Nevada County and meant to serve as a proof of concept for current and future emergency communication grants throughout the river corridor.