Van used for Warren church food bank stolen, crashed

Evan James Carter
The Detroit News

Warren — A Warren man has been charged with stealing a van from a church parking lot, then crashing it into another vehicle.

Now the church, which used the vehicle for its food bank, is trying to raise money to buy a replacement.

Warren police arrested Frankie Calloway, 29, after he crashed a 2006 Chevrolet Express Van into a black 2014 Chevrolet Impala on Yacht Avenue on the city's south side, according to police reports. 

The van, owned by Passport Pizza president Sue LaTour, was used by Harvest Time Christian Fellowship to collect food and other supplies for its ministry, church Pastor Curtiss Ostosh said.

Some time between 11:30 p.m. Friday and 9:30 a.m. Saturday, the van was stolen from the parking lot of the church in the 8200 block of East Nine Mile in Warren. LaTour told police the vehicle was locked when it was stolen and was taken without keys.

The Passport Pizza van, which was used by a Warren church to transport food to those in need, was stolen and later totaled on Saturday

About 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Warren police responded to a call about a Passport Pizza van crashing into a car.

Jerry Edward Smith IV, the owner of the Impala, told police he and a neighbor restrained the van's driver until police arrived at the scene and arrested him.

Calloway was arraigned Monday in 37th District Court on charges of unlawfully driving away a motor vehicle and receiving and concealing stolen property, both felonies.

The ministry distributes 25,000 pounds of food a month with the van and doesn't have money to replace it, Ostosh saId. 

"It's kind of shocking that someone would steal from the church, right out of the church parking lot," Ostosh said.

LaTour said the pizza shop had just gotten a new insurance policy for the van the day it was stolen.

The van was on long-term loan to the church from Passport Pizza.

"We had said the van is 13 years old, so earlier Friday we put it down to (property liability) insurance," LaTour said.

The new insurance policy won't pay to repair or replace the vehicle.

Ostosh has started a GoFundMe campaign to help buy a new van. The campaign had raised $570 of its $30,000 goal as of Wednesday afternoon.

"The church doesn't have the resources or the budget to replace the van, so we're asking the community, for someone in the community with the means to step up to bless us," Oshtosh said. "We do a lot to bless the community. ... now we can't do what we do without the van."