Local Boy Scout troop's van stolen, damaged

Posted at 4:53 PM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-17 22:21:36-05

Milwaukee Police are looking for the thieves who stole a Boy Scout troop's van from a church parking lot near 27th and Scott on Tuesday.

The van has since been found, but the joyride left damage so extensive that it's no longer safe to drive.

Troop 11 leader Ryan Antczak said it happened Tuesday while scouts were out delivering popcorn.

"Come back to the church about 30 minutes later and realize that the van was gone,” he said.

Antczak said someone hot-wired their 1992 GMC van and took off.  It was found the next day ditched about 2 miles north near 19th and Clybourn. Although the van was recovered, the back bumper was bent, the rear axel was broken and the steer column was peeled back.

“There's growling going on in the rear end,” said Antczak.

Altogether the thieves did well over a thousand dollars worth of damage.

“We’re bummed, honestly,” said Antczak. "Unfortunately we lost all the popcorn in the process."

On the inside of the vehicle, hundreds of dollars worth of popcorn scouts were selling to raise money for summer camp was also missing, however that isn’t their biggest concern. The van is no longer able to transport troop 11.

"It's a poor area,” said Antczak. “We use this van to pick up and drop off our scouts. I don't let them walk home, it can be kind of dangerous around here."

Instead of fundraising for fun scouting events, the troop is now hoping the community will find it in their hearts to help them raise money for a new ride.

"Maybe we can earn that money back, what could we do for the community or a business?” asked Antczak

The troop leader filed a police report and MPD is now investigating. Troop 11 has also set up a fundraising page. If you would like to help, click here.

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