Dignity Project suffers auto parts theft

Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 10:34 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 10:34 a.m.

Someone stole six car batteries worth about $500 on late Sunday or early Monday from a Gainesville nonprofit organization that provides free or inexpensive vehicles and auto repair for people with low incomes and teaches students to work on automobiles.

There are some 10 cars currently housed at the Dignity Project, at 1125 SE Fourth St., and Kim Lapan, the director, said he was glad only batteries were stolen. Any more theft or damage would render the vehicles useless, he said, as the repairs and replacements would cost more than the cars are worth.

However, the battery theft has added one more layer of difficulty for the organization, which is now run all by volunteers and which went from a fleet of some 300 cars a few years ago to about 10, Lapan said.

"Right now, it's rough," he said.

But Lapan didn't report the theft to police.

"Something like this, it's not going to do any good," he said, "so I don't want to tie up the police. They've got better things to do."

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