Truck used to clean urban core neighborhood and illegal dumping gets stolen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A neighborhood in Kansas City's urban core is working hard to fight illegal dumping, but now a crucial key to cleaning up has been stolen.

Alan Young knows his beloved Ivanhoe neighborhood has seen its rough patches.

"It was the worst, trashiest neighborhood in the city," said Young, with the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council.

But a dedicated group of volunteers are working hard to turn things around. They routinely mow lots and pick up trash.

"We've made a lot of progress over the years," Young said.

But things have changed in the past year or so.

"We've slipped back to where the dumping has become so rampant throughout the neighborhood," Young said.

An F-550 truck has proven a huge asset in making some headway. It can haul the load of four standard pick-ups.

"One of the worst things you can do is take the tools away from someone who is trying to work. They took our best tool away, so the neighborhood's going to suffer," Young said.

That's because early Thursday morning, around 3:20 a.m., three people plotted to steal the truck.

Two ran off to keep watch, but security cameras were rolling. One guy with a backpack, tinkered with the handle, broke in and wired the truck, then took off.

"Just sick in the pit of my stomach. We had just got the brakes done and the routine maintenance, and new tires on it. And this is money we have to scrape up," Young said.

He's not sure how the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council will stay on top of the daunting work needed here and in surrounding communities without this truck. So he's hoping the truck is found or returned.

"We don't want to ask any questions. We don't care why, if you bring us our truck back," Young said.

The truck is normally parked in a locked cage, but it was so full Wednesday night, it was left in the parking lot where it was stolen.

If you see it or have any information about the theft, call police or the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council at 816-921-6611.

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