MARTIN CITY, Mo. — Children from the inner city may not have a way to get to Christmas services at a Martin City church after its recently purchased transport van was stolen.
The crime occurred at Anointed House of Glory on Charlotte Street behind Jack Stack Barbecue.
Pastor Darwin Neal said the church purchased a red 1994 Ford Econoline back in October to help bring children to services.
“With that van, we’re able to pick up not only the kids we normally pick up but they invite their friends,” he said. “I believe when you start a child out young and show them the good in the world, that changes their whole perspective in life.”
Neal said he hoped whoever stole the van from the near-empty lparking lot would be found.
“The thieves didn’t know they were right on camera,” he said. “I was really beside myself that someone would have the audacity to steal from a church, especially this time of year.”
Neal said Tuesday that staff was working with Jack Stack to gather surveillance video that may have caught the suspect or suspects stealing the vehicle.
"If God can bring you to it, he can bring you through it ...," Neal said. “This was a great loss to our church. I called insurance and they told me there is nothing they could do about it."
The van's Missouri license plate is TC4-R5D.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).