Cass Community Social Services, a Detroit nonprofit agency that serves a million meals annually to the city’s needy, is without a work van after someone stole it Tuesday morning, according to the organization.
Surveillance footage shows the theft of the 2003 Chrysler minivan at 2:40 a.m. Tuesday, said the Rev. Faith Fowler, executive director of the organization. A man broke into the nonprofit agency’s barbed-wired, gated parking lot at 11850 Woodrow Wilson, drove through the fence and ran over a stop sign, she said.
The wrecked minivan was recovered later in the day but declared a total loss, she said.
Cass Community Social Services received the van as a donation about five or six years ago, Fowler said. The agency used it to pick up food donations and carry materials to board up abandoned houses.
“It was used almost every day,” Fowler said. “We put a 100,000 miles on it and it was still going.”
For now, staff members are using their personal vehicles to pick up food donations from Gleaners Food Bank and churches.
“That’s how we’re trying to piece it together now,” Fowler said. “We’re hoping anyone might have an older vehicle they might give us. It’s for hauling. It doesn’t need a radio, power anything. We don’t care about the color. It just has to run ... I’m hoping some kind soul will help us out.”
Even as the nonprofit agency tries to make do without a work van, Fowler expressed concern for the thief.
“I worry about the young man who took it,” she said. “You have to be pretty desperate to run through a fence. I hope he’s OK and he gets the help he needs.”
Detroit police did not provide information Thursday on whether a suspect had been identified.