Burglar steals biologists' life's work

Burglar steals biologists' life's work »Play Video
James Herndon, a seasonal biologist, Skypes with KATU reporter Emily Sinovic (corner), about having his life's work stolen by a burglar.

A burglar wiped out a couple's life's work, stealing more than $5,000 of gear from the car used by the two seasonal biologists.

The two were passing through Portland, staying at a friend's place when the theft happened overnight last Thursday.

So they turned to Craigslist to try and track down what they could so they could work again. That's when a KATU viewer, who doesn't know the couple, felt they could use some help and passed along their plea to KATU.

On Thursday, KATU spoke with seasonal biologist James Herndon via Skype about the theft.

"The life of a seasonal biologist ... you have to move back and forth a lot, and so when your car gets broken into it's kind of the equivalent for us of our house getting broken into. Because that was everything we had in that car," he said.

Herndon shared some of the videos and pictures he and his girlfriend have taken during their work in the wild, including their work tracking the endangered spotted owl. 

"It's something that really gets to you. The field work has to be done. You have to have an understanding of something in order to conserve it," he said.

Herndon said he doesn't know the viewer who passed along his plea for help, but he wanted to say the following: "I thank them very much whoever they are. When you see the really ugly side of people, you also get to see the polar opposite, the really good side of people."