Gas Stolen From Lake Charles Meals On Wheels Van

Is it a sign of the times and high gasoline prices?  Or have thieves simply sunken to a new low. That's what some are asking after the theft of gasoline from four vans that deliver meals to frail, homebound elderly in our area. And the stolen gas is the least of the problem.

Eightyfive year old Malbert Lewis looks forward to a hot meal, delivered to his home each morning by the Calcasieu Council on Aging. "It's really a blessing. It is. I don't think I could do without it."

But some time this past weekend, the vans that deliver meals to Lewis and hundreds of other frail, homebound elderly, were put out of commission. Meals for about 700 people are carried to their destinations in vans like these. But someone stole the gas from the vans and damaged the vehicles in the process. Toni Caraway is the Executive Director of the Calcasieu Council on Aging. "It just breaks my heart that people could do something like that. It really does."

It's hard to believe but in the case of at least two of the vehicles the thieves did about $1400 worth of damage to steal around $50 dollars worth of gasoline. Frank Meadows is the driver that brings a meal to Malbert Lewis each day.  "In many cases it means the world to them because in many case it 's the only meal they'll get a day and perhaps the people they might see in the course of a day. It takes a very low life person that doesn't understand our operation and what we're doing because if they did, they'd steal from somebody else."

Lewis adds, "Sooner or later, they'll catch 'em. Because what goes around comes around. I guarantee you. That's right. When the Lord get tired, he'll stop 'em."

So far, drivers are making do with personal vehicles and such to make sure those who depend on the meals get them while repairs are made. And from now on the vans will be parked in an undisclosed location.