Reporting Nick Janes
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A local group that helps needy veterans is now in need of some help of its own after they say strangers stole thousands of dollars worth of supplies that were just weeks from being handed out.
Now, the group is desperate to replace those donations.
For the first time in two decades, a tearful Barbara Ross is desperate for donations.
“They took everything; they wiped us out,” said Ross, of Sacramento Stand Down.
Everything was kept out in the open at Boy Scout Camp Pollock in Sacramento, but Ross says it went untouched for weeks.
“It looks like it’s been ransacked,” said Ross. “They went through everything.”
She says over Labor Day weekend, thieves stole more than $20,000 worth of supplies meant for hundreds of needy veterans.
“We had the big cases of hoodies,” said Ross.
They had everything from backpacks to boots, to sleeping bags to baseball caps.
Ross says there’s no question who is behind this.
“Oh, we know who did it. It was the Indian Hobbyist Association,” said Ross. “They were seen going through the stuff and taking it.”
The California Indian Hobbyist Association did have an event on that same property over Labor Day weekend.
Ross sent us an email she says she got from one of their organizers.
“When I first got there on Friday the camp ranger told me to take what you wanted. I passed that along to the campers. There was no intention of stealing anything that was for Stand Down,” the email read.
Ross says that’s ridiculous.
“After all these years of never having anything happen, and then have some group come in that thinks they have the right to take it,” said Ross.
Homeless vets rely on the annual event for the basics.
“We need all the help we can get,” said Army veteran Terry Givens.
Now, Givens could be literally left out in the cold.
“Winter’s coming up and they’ve got tents and they’ve got sleeping bags,” said Givens.
We’re being told Stand Down will still happen next weekend, but it may just be a little smaller this year.
Meanwhile, police are still looking into this, but they’ve made no arrests and haven’t named any suspects.