ALLY People Solutions, which provides employment opportunities and other services for people with disabilities, entered the holiday season feeling as if the Grinch had paid a visit. During the night of December 15, one of the vans needed for worker transportation was stolen from the nonprofit’s facility on St. Paul’s White Bear Avenue.
The theft was captured on security cameras. The thief got into the van at about 3:30 a.m., and then got out to clear snow off of the windshield and hood before driving away. The theft took about 35 minutes.
This isn’t the first time ALLY People Solutions has had problems at the facility. Two other vans had catalytic converters stolen in the fall. Those are often stolen because of the valuable metal in that particular vehicle part. Replacing them can be very costly.
Two years ago, three vans were set on fire. What is puzzling about all of the incidents is that ALLY’s St. Paul East Side facility is in Hillcrest Shopping Center, along a busy section of White Bear Avenue.
ALLY President Bob Brick questions why anyone would victimize an organization that serves people with disabilities. Losing the van forced the organization to make alternative transportation arrangements for its workers. It also led to a campaign to replace the van.
The van was used to transport people to the branch and to their community jobs. If it is recovered there will likely be repair costs and if not recovered, the organization will need to use scarce funds to replace the vehicle. As of Access Press deadline the van hadn’t been found It is a white Dodge van with the nonprofit name on its side if red and gold letters.
A fund has been set up to replace or repair the van. Call 651-641-0709 to help or go to www.allypeoplesolutions.org/