(WatchDogReport.org) – Thieves managed to break into a donation box in a secluded area atop one of Switzerland’s most dangerous mountain passes. The climbing trail, called the Via Ferrata, is classified as level 5 — or one of the most demanding and challenging trails to climb.
The thieves would have to be exceptionally skilled hikers/climbers with access to the correct equipment and gear to reach the donation box. The level 5 pass requires using steel cables to cross gorges and climbing ladders bolted into the face of the rock.
Authorities believe the heist was pre-meditated since the thieves apparently took the proper tools to forcefully break into the donation box, which was found empty and destroyed.
The daring bandits ascended over 7,000 ft along the treacherous pass to reach their lofty prize. They then continued their journey to the summit of the Dauberhorn, which tops out at 9,648 ft.
A local hiking club placed the box to collect donations to maintain the pass. The club receives no payment or salary to upkeep the area and uses these donations as needed. It is unknown exactly how much money was inside the container at the time of the theft, but according to Richard Werlen, a club member and mountain guide, the amount taken was probably around 400-500 Swiss francs. This sum equates to between 455 and 569 US dollars.
The Via Faretta is very popular at the moment since the weather is ideal for climbing and hiking. The high traffic along the pass may cause difficulty in identifying and locating the capable crooks.
Switzerland takes great pride in the country’s hiking and climbing paths, and citizens gladly donate to the volunteers keen on maintaining them. Unfortunately, there has been a recent increase in thefts related to donation boxes that hold cash and ATMs across Europe. This surge may prompt organizations to find new ways to collect donations.
A Facebook post from a local climber, Patrick Hannan, encourages volunteers to keep maintaining the pass. Hannan also offered a donation to help cover the loss.
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