KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City pastor left his Ford diesel pick-up truck at a KCK repair shop, only for it to get stolen days later.
Jason Johns is proud of his 1996 Ford F250 diesel pick-up.
“I’m not a material possession person. I don’t get emotionally attached to stuff,” Johns said.
But this truck is different.
He bought it, with the help of the community’s generosity, after his old pick-up was totaled in a 2017 crash. That crash also ended his 8-year-old daughter Elise’s life and left his 6-year-old daughter Hope paralyzed.
“It’s just like, it feels like another thing being taken from me,” Johns said.
His truck is now missing. Mechanics at KC Performance Diesel couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it, so the shop and Johns agreed to leave it parked outside.
“They said, ‘Maybe being in the cold, it will replicate the fault.’ So I said, ‘OK’. Well, they come back in the next Monday, and my truck is gone,” Johns said.
The shop’s owners said their security cameras often cut out and didn’t catch the theft.
And for the last three weeks, he and the shop’s owner have been in a constant back and forth. The shop hasn’t handed over its insurance information so that Johns can claim his loss.
“Maybe to make it right would be considered to follow the law, which is what we’re trying to do here,” said Michael Shartzer, owner of KC Performance Diesel.
But Shartzer’s had issues following the law before. He’s been arrested for theft and driving without a license. The shop he owns has been sued by the state twice for back taxes.
Shartzer claims he’s severed ties with an old business partner, is now paying the bills and would like nothing more than to resolve what happened with Johns’ truck.
“It turned into a huge ordeal very, very fast. There has not been enough time in my mind to get everything Mr. Johns wants accomplished, accomplished. I don’t even have the police report yet. There’s nothing for me to give to my insurance,” Shartzer said.
After all Johns and his family have been through, he just wants the nightmare to end.
“We’ve taken much worse than this, and we keep moving forward. And so that’s where, to me, it’s beyond wrong, and I just want the right thing to be done,” he said.
Attorneys for both sides are now trying to sort things out.
In the mean time, Johns is hoping his truck is found. He uses it for ministry with at-risk inner city families and has lost out on a lot of income doing side jobs this winter, spreading salt and plowing snow.