RICHMOND, Va. -- Military veteran Michael Ricks was watching TV with his wife at their Northside home when a Richmond Police detective called to say they found some of his items. Ricks looked out his window to find that his Dodge Ram had been stolen Tuesday morning.
The next time he saw the truck was a few hours later, wrecked against the back of a Richmond school bus.
"Just to have some kids joy ride it just because they think it's fun. They don't understand the impact on everyday, middle class, working American,” Ricks, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, said.
The thieves tossed the military gear and expensive toolbox packed with tools from the bed of the truck, along with the vehicle’s registration card, at a cemetery in Church Hill, according to Ricks. Around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, the suspects rear ended the school bus on Idlewood Avenue and fled the scene on foot, police said.
The truck is covered by insurance; however, Ricks said he was not expecting to pay a $500 deductible on what is basically a new truck for his family. Also, Ricks said any trade-in value the truck would have is now basically null and void.
Ricks said the kids who stole his truck do not care about the financial hardships the situation has brought his family.
"You might see what is a nice house, what you think is a nice vehicle, but it's something that working class Americans struggle to pay for,” Ricks said. "When you take something like their vehicle away and you think it's just fun to joy ride it, it's going to cost me and my family dearly.”
Richmond Police said they continue to investigate. Anyone with information about what happened or who was involved is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.