‘It’s absolutely trashed’: Olathe nonprofit’s bus stolen then found in rough shape

Data pix.

OLATHE, Kan. -- A group of about 20 Mission Southside volunteers started their day with a prayer, as usual, but this Tuesday's pause for peace was different.

"They were actually praying for the people that took the bus," said Rod Janzen, Mission Southside's business development director, "that their hearts would be turned to doing right rather than doing wrong."

The 32-passenger bus was stolen Monday out of the Mission Southside parking lot, located at 18335 W. 168th Terrace. The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said it was found around 10 p.m., but not the same way the nonprofit left it.

"It apparently went on a joyride all over Johnson County," Janzen said. "I just saw it at the Johnson County Sheriff's Department, their crime lab -- and it's absolutely trashed."

Four other donated vehicles sitting in the parking lot Monday were vandalized, too, including "The Beast."

"We've had that thing for eight almost nine years," Janzen said, "donated to us by a lady."

Janzen said about a month ago The Beast and a trailer were stolen. The trailer's still MIA, but police found The Beast. It's in bad shape with broken windows and glass scattered all over.

"It's destroyed, which is really sad," Janzen said.

Thieves this time around actually used the F-150 to hot wire and steal the bus. Janzen said this small fleet of used vehicles allowed the nonprofit to mobilize about 12,000 volunteers and serve more than 3,500 needy families last year.

They hope to be back in action "extending help through hope" soon.

"It's sad to see the inside of the bus completely ripped apart and trashed," Janzen said. "But I've got a feeling our volunteers, if we get the bus back, they're going to rally. They're going to put the inside of that bus back together, and we're going to have a story to tell."

Mission Southside runs on donations. If you would like to help, give them a call at 913-393-2200. You can also donate to the Vehicle Fund here.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.