Thief caught on camera stealing KC charity's tow truck - KCTV5

Thief caught on camera stealing KC charity's tow truck

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A man is caught on tape stealing from a Kansas City charity, and now they're hoping others recognize something in the video, so they can get back to helping others.

Authorities believe the thief snuck underneath a chain link fence about 1 a.m. Monday. 

On the surveillance video, a white Ford F-350 can be seen casing the area, then a guy enters the lot. 

Once inside the lot, he spent about 20 minutes breaking into the tow truck.  Then cuts the chain on the gate and drives off with an $80,000 tow truck.

"It is painful for us, and it is painful to think someone would steal from a charity," regional director for the American Children's Society, Michael Lane, said.

The charity tows away unwanted cars, sells them and uses the profit to help local children in need.

Lane also used his only tow truck to help in tornado relief, most recently helping KCTV5 with a bottled water drive and hauling it to Moore, OK.

Now, all he has is one trailer to keep his charity rolling.

"It's not going to do it, because we can only pick one car up.  Some cars you can't even get on the trailer. We need a truck," Lane said.

Lane knows it won't be easy to hide or resell the truck, so he is worried the thieves will chop it up and sell off the parts.

"We are trying to get to it before any damage can get done to it. Get it back, so it doesn't cost us any money to get back in action, so we can start picking up cars and helping the people in Kansas City," he said.

Lane said insurance will help, but he'll still be left about $25,000 in the hole.  He is hoping police will find the truck before it is too late.

There is a $5,000 reward to anyone who can help find the stolen truck.  Call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS with any information, and tipsters can remain completely anonymous.

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