HELENA – Employees at Good Samaritan in Helena are scratching their heads  wondering why someone would damage one of their donation trucks rendering it inoperable.

Clare Smillie, the community outreach and development coordinator for Good Samaritan, said the donation truck’s driver noticed Tuesday morning that the truck was low on gas, which he thought was unusual. When he went to fill it up at the gas station, gas began leaking from the truck. Later, it was determined the gas line had been cut.

With the truck out of commission, Good Samaritan can’t do their truck pick ups which occur five times each day from Tuesday to Friday.

The nonprofit needs at least $500 to order a special part and get the truck back up and running. In reality, about $2,000 is needed to make the truck fully operational and make long overdue repairs. So far, the community has pitched in with donations and thoughtful notes.

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Still, Smillie is trying to make sense of how this could happen.

“It’s hard to understand why someone would want to do this. Especially for a place that does so much for the community,” Smillie said. “It could be someone that’s not happy with us. It’s kind of hard to see the reason why.”

Smillie said they have had repeated problems with people tampering with vehicles on their property in the past. Their recycling trailer has been broken into, and someone attempted to hot wire a forklift and damaged it in the process.

Natural Grocers next door to Good Samaritan does have security cameras, but they don’t pick up the back lot where the truck was tampered with.

 

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