TOPPENISH, Wash. — Yakama Nation DJ Roy Dick isn’t sure when the radio station will be back on the air after vital equipment was stolen early Tuesday.
Burglars kicked in a wall-mounted air conditioner to gain entry into the KYNR 1490-AM station at 711 King Lane in Toppenish, Dick said.
They took the station’s control board, three microphones, three printers, a CD player and the station’s emergency alert system. Dick estimates the loss at about $20,000.
Although the Tribal Council approved funding to replace the stolen equipment, the station is struggling to find an EAS to purchase, Dick said.
“I don’t know where we’re going to get that,” he said.
A broadcast board and related equipment will be installed sometime next week, but the station will not go back on the air until it replaces the emergency alert system, Dick said.
Under Federal Communications Commission rules, the station is required to have an EAS in place in order to broadcast.
Dick thought it was strange that only broadcasting equipment was taken. An Indian painting, wool Pendleton blanket and stacks of Native American CDs of powwow music as well as computers were left untouched, he said.
Dick said the serial and model numbers of the stolen equipment were provided to police and area pawnshops.
Yakama Nation police are investigating.