SPOKANE, Wash. - It's the lowest of the low: stealing from a charitable organization. But a thief or thieves did just that this week when they broke into, stole from, and vandalized the Catholic Charities' RV used to help the poorest of the poor in the Spokane community.
Catholic Charities' Care Cruiser was used as a mobile warming center for the homeless, used as an educational piece for people at work sites and schools about poverty, as well as used in crisis situations by organizations like the Red Cross.
In it's former life, the RV was used as Sacred Heart Hospital's Mobile mammography coach but donated to Catholic Charities, organizers gutted the vehicle and revamped it with new technology and amenities.
While the RV waited for a permanent home, it was parked outside of the Catholic Charities office on Division and Fifth Avenue in Spokane.
On Monday night, under the cloak of darkness, a crook or crooks smashed out the RV's front passenger side window and stole a flat screen TV, DVD player, radio and various other supplies. Catholic Charities Executive Director Rob McCann said they also tore up the seats inside.
"What's really disheartening," McCann said, "is that the Care Cruiser's mission was posted all over the RV."
"This is a vehicle that's used to serve the poorest of the poor and that's its sole purpose and for someone to break into and rob it and vandalize it, it really makes you want to cry a little bit," McCann said.
"I will say a prayer for those who are responsible for this crime as they must be living lives of great struggle and challenge themselves."
Spokane Police did not step in to investigate because they said Crime Check originally took the report and when it became clear that 1.) there was no crime in progress and 2.) there were no fingerprints or other convincing evidence at the scene, Crime Check decided not to send an officer to the scene.
In some cases, some of the items do have the Catholic Charities logo. If you see items that are out of place with the organization's logo, call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.
For now, this means the Care Cruiser it out of service until they can get it fixed.