Salvation Army truck stolen, found damaged

Published 10:28 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Salvation Army in Selma is without a box truck after it was stolen early Monday morning and found heavily damaged later that day.

Monique Brech, director at the Salvation Army Service Center in Selma, said an employee realized it was missing Monday morning around 8 a.m.

“We were in shock that someone could actually take a truck from an organization that tries to help the community. We were devastated” she said. “I mean, we all think of it like this is not our job. This is our mission, and someone does that and hurts all of us. We took it personal.”

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After filing a police report with the Selma Police Department, Brech said they posted about the missing truck on Facebook. Shortly after, someone commented on the post saying they thought they saw it around Valley Grande around 3:17 a.m.

“We were on our way to go look and see if that was our truck when one of our employee’s husbands was out in the county and found the truck,” Brech said. “He said I think I found y’alls truck, and sure enough, we turned around and went out to a county road in Marion Junction, and there it was on one of these back-country roads just parked on the side of the road.”

They found the truck, but it wasn’t in the condition they hoped it was.

“They tore up the truck. You could tell they went into the mud. The mud flaps are torn off, the ignition is ruined. They tore that all up,” she said. “There are dents and scratches in the box itself. There’s a big hole inside, glass all over. The headlight was kind of torn off a bit, the rearview mirrors were both broken.”

Hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, was done to the vehicle. The truck is used for pick-ups, whether it is picking up items donated to be sold in the Salvation Army Store or picking up toys that are collected by various organizations and businesses in town.

“We use that truck for everything,” Brech said. “Any pick-ups we have to do like for Angel Tree, we pick up toys and stuff from different organizations that collect stuff for us. That’s our truck to pick everything up.”

The truck was fairly new to the organization.

“We just got that truck not too long ago because our old truck didn’t have a lift. We got this one from another service center, and it had a lift, so we were really excited about our truck,” Brech said. “We could do a whole lot more with pick-ups and everything. It just made everything a little easier to do with that lift on the back.”

Brech said they believe the truck was abandoned after the culprits ran out of gas. She said investigators came to the scene where the truck was found and collected evidence that could hopefully lead to an arrest.

Brech said they are now waiting on an adjuster from their insurance company to assess the damage done.

Anyone interested in lending a helping hand to the Salvation Army while its without a truck can call (334) 872-1646.