Society for the Blind asks for community’s help after van theft, vandalism

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Police are investigating after someone used rocks to smash several glass doors at Society for the Blind.

The nonprofit serves about 6,000 people per year in the Sacramento region.

“Our work is to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential,” said Executive Director Shari Roeseler.

Roeseler has navigated all the challenges of COVID-19 to keep the mission of the nonprofit on track. But now, they face a new challenge.

“This morning, I got a call at about 10 to 6 that all four of our brand new doors to our new annex had been smashed,” Roeseler told FOX40.

Two glass doors at the front of the building and two in back had been smashed to pieces with rocks.

Surveillance video has been handed over to the Sacramento Police Department. Roeseler is requesting the video not be shared publicly because the person who threw the rocks may have mental health challenges and the camera angles did not capture everything.

Roeseler said she doesn’t believe the person who smashed the windows intentionally targeted the nonprofit and nothing was stolen.

“That camera caught him throwing them through the doors. But, again, the camera doesn’t show the doors themselves. So, we’ll be rectifying that with a new camera,” Roeseler said.

But Roeseler said new cameras and new glass doors are going to cost more than what insurance will cover.

At the same time, the nonprofit is trying to replace a wheelchair-accessible van that was stolen over the summer from inside a locked cage behind the building.

“So, it was over $3,000 just to repair the car cage,” Roeseler explained.

The vehicle was later found abandoned and ruined.

“They stole it for the catalytic converter and in the process of removing the catalytic converter, they also destroyed the wheelchair ramp,” Roeseler said. “So, basically, the vehicle was totaled.”

While acknowledging these are challenging times for people, Roeseler said the community has always come through and supported Society for the Blind. And right now, the nonprofit could use an extra boost.

Roeseler estimated a new van and fixes to their security issues would cost roughly $25,000.

“Hopefully, through this time they’ll see the importance of the help that we need,” she said.

Click or tap here to donate to Society for the Blind.

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