Thieves break into To The Bottom And Back bus

By Laura Geller - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – A charitable organization became the victim of a crime this weekend.  Two days in a row, someone broke into the bus that travels "To the Bottom and Back" to prevent drunk driving.

Those who ride the bus told NBC12 this is one of the worst kinds of crimes because it targeted those who are trying to help keep the public safe. Not only did those thieves shatter the bus glass, the actually stole from the donation jar.

Bandits didn't take the advice of the big red stop signs on those big green and black buses.  Police said sometime between 6: 00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday night, crooks shattered the glass doors as the vehicles sat where they are stored on the 2100 block of Westmoreland Street in Henrico.

The word spread like wildfire after To The Bottom And Back's Twitter handle posted a message, saying someone broke in two days in a row and vandalized the buses. That's how Brian Mount heard the news.

"Pretty much everyone in this entire city reposted it," he said. "I mean, everyone was talking about it."

The owners of the organization didn't want to make a big deal about what happened. They said incidents like this occur all the time and it's no more important just because they were the targets.

But Mount, and most others who had heard, couldn't believe robbers took the donations.

"These people are doing a great service for the city, stopping people from drunk driving," he said. "It's wonderful what they do and it's a complete shame that anyone would take advantage of that."

Camille Kostin bartends at Cha Chas and has seen many of her customers take these safe rides, which run between Elwood Thompson's in Carytown, through Shockoe Slip and all the way to the Bottom. While police don't have any suspects right now, Kostin has her own theory on the crime.

"Those people probably that broke into it probably have ridden that bus before and they knew what was inside of it," she said. "And that's the more unfortunate part of it."

It has been a rough month for To The Bottom And Back. Earlier in May, one bus was involved in an ironic crash when it was rear ended by a drunk driver. According to its Twitter page, in another recent incident, the organization's cell phone was also stolen. The service is in fact back up and running.

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