COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Car thieves have once again hit a Columbus company that provides transportation to some community members who need it most.
Mayne Transportation drives hundreds of central Ohio children with disabilities to and from school. The company has been around since 2017. Bill McKinney, director of Mayne Transportation, is also the director of Highland Community Learning Center.
“We’re just trying to do the best we can to serve our kids here in the community so they don’t fall through the cracks,” he said.
In recent years, thieves have made the work of Mayne Transportation harder. Eleven of their Hyundai Elantras have been stolen in the last two years, McKinney said. He bought the Hyundais before they became popular to steal.
“It’s really hurt us, there’s no doubt about it,” McKinney said. “And it’s one of those things where as we continue to work to help our kids, we want to make sure our reliable transportation is there.”
One of Mayne Transportation’s cars was stolen over the weekend. McKinney said most drivers keep the vehicles at home, but there have been cars taken right out of Highland’s parking lot.
“What you see on the camera is the guy breaking the window, going in, opening the door, what they do is break into the driver’s column, takes them just a few, they’re gone,” he said.
Mayne Transportation isn’t the only transportation company for disabled people whose vehicle fleets have been hit. Tristar Transportation had two of its vehicles stolen in July.
Columbus police said 1,125 cars were stolen in July — the most this year. More than 60% of stolen cars were Kias or Hyundais.
McKinney said it’s disturbing the crimes keep happening.
“It really impacts the kids we need to service because then it throws off everything and it puts a strain on our system. Again, we’ve always been able to overcome it, but it really puts on a strain,” he said.
The Mayne cars have GPS so they’ve been able to find them, according to McKinney. But he said they still have to deal with damage caused — including one that was totaled.