Stolen truck returning to Texas owner with supplies for hurricane victims

LEBANON, Ind. – A story that began with a stolen truck, will end with providing help for people displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Back in the middle of summer, police in Boone County found an abandoned truck along the side of a road. After some investigating, they discovered the truck belonged to Guy Caylor, who lives in the Houston area.

Caylor told FOX59 his truck was stolen from his son back in April on Texas Tech University's campus.

The Texas resident contacted Gene Lewis Ford about repairing the truck so it would run again and then find a way to get the truck back to Houston.

“It was just abandoned, left on the side of the road," said Steve Lewis, an owner at Gene Lewis Ford. "It came in very muddy and torn up.”

While the repairs were wrapping up, Hurricane Harvey swept through southeastern Texas. Workers there decided since the truck was going to make the 1,000 mile trip there anyway, they might as well help, too.

The dealership spread the word about needing donations, and the community came through.

“Kind of lucky that it was a Ford crew cab, because we had extra areas to put stuff in," said Lewis. "I'm glad it's leaving soon or we would need another truck to put things in because we're getting so much stuff."

Donations came from many sources, but Lewis said some of the biggest contributions came from the local NAPA store, a local bank, Chapman Heating & Cooling, and the Rotary Club of Lebanon Indiana.

“The community is really coming together on this, it’s not big in scope but it’s big in heart," said Lewis. "It’s just a good way for Lebanon to show we care about those people down there.”

Items on the truck include bottles and gallons of water, diapers and toiletries, and several hundred dollars in gift cards.

Lewis and Caylor have been working together and plan to ship the truck back to Texas by the end of the work week, with the truck arriving late in the upcoming weekend.

Caylor said the truck was a gift to his son for his hard work in school and for becoming an Eagle Scout. His son remains at school and will get the truck back over Thanksgiving.

The son's fellow troop members will help distribute the supplies once they reach Houston.