Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Stolen Meals on Wheels van found

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Albany/HV: Stolen Meals on Wheels van found
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There is some good news for the Albany Meals on Wheels program now that a delivery van stolen last Thanksgiving has been returned. Our Lori Chung explains why this turn of events actually puts the organization in an even better position to keep those meals rolling out than before the van went missing.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- "They took the plates off. They took all the stuff that was inside out of it," said Jane Schramm, Senior Services of Albany Executive Director.

It's a bit battered and broken, but the staff at the Albany Meals on Wheels program is just happy to have their van back.

"I was thrilled," said Schramm. "I was floored actually."

Nearly two months after the delivery van was stolen from the organization's parking lot, a Menands police officer made an unlikely discovery in the parking lot at 800 North Pearl Street. The Meals on Wheels minivan was in plain view with its sign still visible in the window.

"They were driving around with it that way, go figure," said Schramm.

The van was stolen right before Thanksgiving, a time when the organization is working harder than ever to deliver meals to the elderly and disabled. The news prompted SEFCU and Albany Dodge to donate a brand new delivery van. Now, this discovery gives the staff an extra set of wheels to keep those meals rolling out to those who need them.

"We put on a thousand miles a day supporting the Meals on Wheels program in Albany County, in Schenectady and Rensselear to some degree, so having another vehicle in place, be it a back up vehicle, is a good thing" said Schramm.

The ignition has been broken, there's some exterior damage and all the equipment that was inside the van to help make those deliveries is still missing. But Schramm says it's a minor annoyance considering how unlikely it is to get a stolen van back.

"It's good news and we don’t have enough good news," said Schramm. "Having this back and brought into our fleet to be able for us to utilize is a huge thing for us."

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