Late Sunday night, a couple of crooks were caught on camera stealing everything out of a van packed full of bags meant to help foster kids.
“After the ‘Fill the Van’ events, literally it’s filled with cleaning supplies paper towels, toilet paper, toiletries for the children, everything we need to keep us going for a full year at El Ranchito,” said Amy Kindrick, the Executive Director of El Ranchito de Los Ninos.
El Ranchito is a group foster home located in Los Lunas.
“We were designed to keep brothers and sisters together,” said Kindrick.
Cleaning supplies and toiletries are a huge expense for El Ranchito and they rely mostly on donation drives and monetary donations to buy all of that.
“We do about six loads of laundry every day. So, you can imagine how much detergent that takes just to keep the house running and keep the kids in clean clothes. That alone is a huge expense for us,” said Kindrick.
The last ‘Fill the Van’ event took place at Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic Church near Wyoming and Menaul. Kindrick says the van was packed full of supplies by Sunday night and she planned to pick the van up Monday morning.
But, thieves got to the van first.
“They broke the window, unlocked the door and then had 18 minutes to completely empty it out and take everything,” said Kindrick.
The church’s surveillance video, that they would not release to KRQE News 13, shows at least two men take out every single donation bag and put them in a pick-up truck.
“It was terrible. We really do rely on the generosity of our donors,” said Kindrick.
Beloved local business, Rebel Donut, saw Kindrick’s Facebook post about the theft.
“It’s really sad to hear that somebody who’s trying to do good for the community gets taken advantage of like that,” said Andrea Zamora, who manages the Wyoming location.
The company’s owner also posted on Rebel Donut’s Facebook, asking their customers to come in and help them replenish the stolen donation items.
“We want to give back to El Ranchito what they were giving to the community,” said Zamora.
For the next week, both of Rebel Donut’s locations will be accepting donations during business hours.
“Any kind of shampoo, laundry detergent anything you can donate, we’ll be taking it,” said Zamora.
Kindrick is hopeful this drive will help them replenish all of what was stolen from them.
“I like to stay positive and really see the best in people. When something like this happens, it’s a tragedy but you see the good in other people that comes out of it more than focusing on the negativity,” said Kindrick.
If you would like to donate at Rebel Donut, click here for their locations and hours.
If you would like to make a monetary donation to El Ranchito, click here.