Cargo van used for community outreach stolen from Salvation Army Temple Corps in Hilo
Salvation Army officials say it will be challenging for a while to provide food and supply services to those in need in East Hawaiʻi because their only cargo van was stolen.
The white 2006 Ford E-350 with an extended cargo van and license plate number 917 HDK was parked at the Salvation Army Hilo Temple Corps lot at 219 Ponohawai St.
The van, which serves residents from Ocean View to Pepe‘ekeo, was taken sometime during the night Monday or early Tuesday morning, according to Capt. Sam LeMar, Hawai’i County Coordinator and Corps Officer for The Salvation Army Hilo Temple Corps.
The van supported social service outreach, including its food pantry and feeding the homeless.
“Not having our van creates logistical challenges for all of our outreach programs,” LeMar said.
The van also is used to pick up food from grocery stores, which is put into 100 food bags weekly for those is need, and used to prepare 400 meals monthly.
The Salvation Army’s thrift store services also will be hindered because the van was used to pick up furniture or other large items from the community.
This is the first time Hilo’s Salvation Army has had a problem of this magnitude.
“It’s frustrating,” LeMar said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who stole it and those whom we serve.”
While the vehicle was locked and its keys were secured in its store in Hilo, LeMar said the theft has created concern in protecting the Salvation Army’s bus and minivan, also stationed in Hilo.
The van’s theft was reported to the Hawai’i Police Department.
Police ask that anyone with information pertaining to this investigation to call Officer Bradley Waiki via the police department’s non-emergency number 808 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
For more information about The Salvation Army Hilo Temple Corps and to make a monetary donation, visit hilo.salvationarmy.org.