A Cub Scout trailer stolen from an Islip parking lot in January has been found with most of its contents untouched.
A jogger discovered the trailer on a street in Brightwaters earlier this week, according to Suffolk County police. It had been stolen between Jan. 16 and 18.
Cub Scout master Kurt Nilsen was surprised it turned up.
"Someone takes it, it's usually gone," Nilsen said as he went through the trailer for the first time Friday. "I would expect it to be in another state or county by now."
Though the thieves tried to scrape off the outside lettering identifying the trailer as property of the Cub Scouts, the only items stolen appeared to be some water and canned food that had been stored for scout trips, Nilsen said.
The bandits left behind a projector and screen valued at close to a thousand dollars as well as a specially made grill and a coffee maker.
"They took beans and corn but left sauerkraut," Nilsen said.
Also untouched were special Cub Scout flags and ribbons dating back to the 1980s -- all items of special meaning the scouts feared were lost forever.
"We had kids asking, 'Are they bad people?'" Nilsen said. "I had to explain to the kids because they couldn't grasp somebody stealing the stuff."
Suffolk police don't know why the trailer was abandoned with the items still inside, but the hunt for the thieves will continue.
"We're all glad they got it back and I think they learned a lesson to secure it better next time," said Suffolk County Det. Lt. J. Matthew Sullivan.
A groundswell of support throughout their ordeal also taught the scouts how appreciated they are in the community, Nilsen said.
After the trailer theft was made public, strangers donated cash and even another trailer to the scouts.
"There's always good that comes out of it, even if we didn't find it," Nilsen said.