Posted 1:54 PM 5/17/2012 : Vandals strike Humane Borders' fleet
TUCSON - Vandals targeted a lot in the City of South Tucson overnight Wednesday temporarily halting the mission of Humane Borders.
The group stores four Chevy Silverados on the property, all of which had their batteries stolen and driver side windows broken. For the last 12 years, the organization has filled water stations in the desert for illegal immigrants.
Juanita Molina, from the non-profit, said each truck is worth approximately $20,000.
"This level of repair is absolutely devastating to the agency, and we're going to definitely going to need the community support in order to be able to up and running again to prevent deaths in the desert."
The thieves likely parked in the alley and entered the property after cutting a chain with a dead-bolt lock, Molina said. "It's absolutely devastating as we go into our busiest time of year. We're finding so many distressed migrant," he said.
Lt. Jeff Inorio from the City of South Tucson Police Department does not think the thieves cared who they targeted, saying, "I think if it were more than that, they would have left some calling cards, you know, some spray painting to attack the organization."
According to Lt. Inorio, criminals are stealing batteries to make money. "Carrying a couple batteries down the street they figure they make 20 bucks," he said. "It's probably easier than going out and panhandling or doing what they have to do."
But Molina doesn't think it was just a crime of opportunity, "it seems very deliberate the way that the entire thing was approached, the bolt cutters, the precision of just moving things and taking things the way that they have."
The group's 40 volunteers will temporarily halt their mission but expect to be filling water stations in the desert again soon.
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