Thieves damage gas tanks, steal fuel from Kings County senior citizen agency

Nic Garcia Image
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Thieves damage gas tanks, steal fuel from Kings County senior citizen agency
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Thieves targeted the Kings County Commission on Aging over the weekend.

KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Kings County Commission on Aging was targeted by thieves over the weekend.

Sometime between Friday and Monday, someone drilled a large hole in the gas tanks of four vans and stole the gas inside.

"It felt like we were attacked. Words cannot express how it felt. We had 2,000 meals that we needed to deliver to seniors today," said Bobbie Wartson, Executive Director of Kings County Commission on Aging.

The vans allow the agency to deliver meals to anywhere from 380 to 450 seniors every week.

Knowing they depend on those meals, Wartson put out a call to the community for help Tuesday, and they delivered.

But the sheriff's office says the Commission on Aging should have never been targeted.

"For someone to pick on the senior citizens, folks who took care of us for years, and now we're supposed to take care of them. Quite frankly, it makes me angry," said Sgt. Nate Ferrier from the Kings County Sheriff's Office.

Cameras are being installed outside the Commission on Aging parking lot, and detectives are working to track down the person responsible.

One possible motive is rising gas prices.

"Gas is almost like liquid gold. So certainly it's desirable to have, and anytime you have something desirable, someone else is going to want to take it from you," said Sgt. Ferrier.

The cost to repair the vans is at least $1,500 each. That's around $6,000 total. Wartson is hoping insurance will cover it all, but it's still unclear.

As she looks ahead to next week's deliveries, she has a message for the people who did this.

"Please don't mess with us. Don't mess with anybody. It's not right to destroy anybody's property," said Wartson.

The Kings County Commission on Aging relied heavily on donations.

You can contribute on their website.

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