Physical evidence has been obtained from a truck used to smash through an enclosure at the SCV Senior Center Sunday morning, helping detectives to get a little closer to the suspect who stole a specially-equipped truck used in the center’s Home Delivered Meals program.
During the early-morning incident, the suspect got into an enclosed yard where the trucks were parked, pried open the front door of an office building where keys were kept and used one of the temperature-controlled vehicles as a battering ram on the cyclone fence gate. Once the gate was down, he abandoned the damaged truck and grabbed keys to another truck to make his getaway.
The damaged vehicle has been impounded by the sheriff’s department, which is conducting tests on blood and fingerprints found inside the cab.
After giving a rundown of the crime, Sgt. Darren Harris of the Santa Clarita Valley station said he found this crime particularly cruel.
“For a person to go to this extent to harm an organization that does this much good in our community,” he said. “We definitely want to get this man in custody.”
The suspect is described as a white man in his 20s or 30s, with brown hair, 5’ 10” to 6 feet tall.
The truck, a white 2008 Ford Ranger truck (pictured) had the SCV Senior Center’s information painted on the sides and rear, where the name and logo of the truck’s sponsor, Boston Scientific, was also emblazoned.
“It’s very sad in this day and age for some to think that this is funny,” said Patti Rasmussen, President of the SCV Senior Center Foundation. “The need for this program is growing and Boston Scientific had just come on as one of our sponsors. We couldn’t do this without the sponsors’ help.”
Frontier Toyota donates the basic trucks, but it’s sponsor money that outfits the bed with heating and refrigeration units to keep food at the proper temperature.
“We just expanded from nine to 10 routes,” said Kathy Crone, who handles fundraising for the center’s foundation. “We are waiting for the 10th truck to be finished, now we’re down two. With only seven trucks, it’s taken a toll on our volunteers, who have doubled up to make sure the meals get delivered.”
Crone said that the program provides 350 meals per day, six days a week, to seniors and the home-bound, who depend on both the food and human contact for survival.
What is particularly poignant is that the foundation members were not told about the vehicle theft until the next day, when they were conducting a golf tournament to raise money.
“I just teared up,” Crone said. “I couldn’t believe someone would do that. We made an announcement and people started passing the hat. We collected about $1,500 right then towards replacing the truck.
Anyone who sees the vehicle is asked to call the SCV Sheriff’s station at 661-255-1121.