Police Search For Truck Stolen From Catholic Charities Tulsa

Thursday, December 12th 2013, 5:25 pm
By: Craig Day

Police say a thief stole a truck from Catholic Charities Tulsa, which helps thousands of people around Christmas time.

The truck is used to deliver everything from Christmas toys and gifts for children to holiday food baskets, so the theft couldn't have come at a worse time.

Catholic Charities is busy year round, providing clothing, groceries and other items for people in need, but nearing Christmas, they step up their efforts even more.

While they give, a thief has taken away a pickup with a lift gate.

"It's frustrating and very disheartening," said David Hamel, of Catholic Charities.

It's disheartening because the charity really needs the truck this time of year. They have Christmas toys and presents to deliver to 850 children, along with 1,000 holiday food baskets.

"That truck is essential to our ability to do what we do, and that's to help others," Hamel said.

The thief drove out a back gate at the charity on North Harvard in the white Dodge 1998 3/4-ton truck with "Catholic Charities" printed on the side. Later, it was spotted at an abandoned house in Catoosa near 171st and Pine.

A neighbor called the homeowner, who confronted the thief as he was loading things into the truck.

"The guy says, 'I'm going to call police,'" said Catoosa Police Chief Kevin McKim. "[The suspect responded], 'Please, please don't call police.'"

The thief rammed through a barbed wire fence, so the truck likely has headlight and front end damage. Catoosa police are aggressively searching for it.

"It's a shame that thugs and people like that take advantage of a good place that goes out and helps citizens. It's just heartbreaking," McKim said.

The best outcome would be to find the truck soon and in good condition, so it can be used to haul holiday items to people in need.

"We need to get this truck back to Catholic Charities, because of all the great things that they do for people this time of year," McKim said.

"We're part of the Catholic church and forgiveness is important, but that doesn't mean we don't hold somebody accountable," Hamel said.

Anyone with information on the thief or the truck is asked to call 918-266-2424. Tips can also be emailed through the police website, catoosapd.com.