BLOOMINGTON - When Carl Dube of the Mennonite Disaster Service and the crew went to their van Friday morning in Bloomington, they noticed the tires were low.
"I thought that maybe the tires were flat from driving over nails," Dube said. "But we discovered they were punctured."
The Mennonite Disaster Service has been serving the town of Bloomington for a couple of weeks to help the town get back on its feet. The group is a volunteer network of Anabaptist churches dedicated to responding to natural and man-made disasters in Canada and the United States. The volunteers in Bloomington have helped cut down trees, cover roofs and clean homes.
Dube said the van had two slashed tires and their tool trailer had three of its four tires cut. Dube said he discovered the tires before 8 a.m. Friday morning. The group was headed to more residences to place tarps over roofs, but were unable because of the vandalized tires.
In his 14 years with the Mennonite Disaster Service, Dube said he has never experienced this type of act.
County Commissioner Danny Garcia said he was upset when he found out about the tires.
"The people from Bloomington are in disbelief and embarrassed that someone would do this to these guys who have come in to help total strangers," Garcia said. "They've helped hundreds of people."
Garcia said he has spoken to Bloomington residents and does not believe a Bloomington resident committed the crime. Garcia said he posted the situation on social media and is accepting donations to cover the cost of tires and roadside assistance, which he estimates could cost at least $1,500.
"I don't want this to define the good people of Bloomington. This act does not represent them," Garcia said. "The people of Bloomington appreciate what this group has done for the town."
Dube said several Bloomington residents have reached out to the group, which he appreciates.
"This was an anomaly. We appreciate those reaching out to help us and to see how we are doing," Dube said.
A report has been filed with the Victoria County Sheriff's Office, Dube said.