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Tuesday, 09 June 2020 19:06

Parts Stolen From Cars Up for Veteran's Donation at MO Auto Body Shop

Written by Susie Shu, Columbia Missourian

Wheels and batteries were stolen overnight June 7 from cars being repaired to donate to veterans at Galen's Auto Body in Columbia, MO.

The shop's owner, Galen Hassler, said he found out car parts were gone the morning of June 8 when he looked at the shop's garage. 

 

"It seems like they went through almost all the vehicles [donated cars] and stole things out of them," Hassler said. No customer cars were included in the damage. 

 

Four brand-new wheels, including the tires and rims, as well as seven batteries were lost. The estimated cost is $1,700, Hassler said.

 

Two and a half years ago, Hassler started taking charge of the Columbia location of Cars 4 Heroes, a nonprofit organization that provides free cars to those who were unable to get one on their own. The donated cars are fixed up at Galen's to help veterans, first responders and their families.

 

Cars 4 Heroes has been having a problem with parts being stolen. Hassler said there was another incident of stolen car parts about two weeks ago.

 

Hassler said the organization is in need of more vehicles to fix up. Cars 4 Heroes has more than 15,000 entries of veterans asking for a vehicle nationwide, and it gives away around 300 cars a year between its Columbia and Kansas City locations.

 

"The next best thing is to help us financially," Hassler said. Each vehicle costs from $500 to $1,000 to repair to donate to veterans and first responders.

 

The Facebook page for Cars 4 Heroes in Columbia contained a post about the damage to seek the public's help.

 

"We haven’t had anything [donation] come yet, but that would be very helpful," Hassler said. 

 

We thank the Columbia Missourian for reprint permission.