Camper Stolen From OKC Agency That Helps People Displaced By Disasters

Thursday, July 7th 2016, 6:20 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

A non-profit that provides free campers and mobile homes for natural disaster victims got ripped off, and the whole crime was caught on camera.

The good news is the stolen camper has been found. It's trashed, but it's in one piece. Now police are looking for the heartless thief who took it.  

Volunteers with the non-profit "Camp Ironhorse The Facilitators" spend a lot of time and money refurbishing old campers and mobile homes, then loan them out free of charge to people who have lost their homes to disasters. Last week, someone stole one of their campers in Shawnee. Security video shows the thief checking it out before hitching it up and driving off.  

"It was heartbreaking because we have a family in Maysville that was recently flooded and that family is waiting for this trailer,” said Sarah Gordon with Camp Iron Horse The Facilitators. “So, as long as that trailer is missing that family is missing out on a home."

Oklahoma City Police found the camper on the city's southwest side. Caleb Rusche, 23, was sleeping inside. He lives with his grandmother next door to where the camper was found. Caleb wasn't home but his grandmother said Caleb had only been in it once to sleep.

"He went to the emergency room. And he, uh, I guess come back and just went in there and went to sleep. He didn't know the trailer was stolen or nothing,” said Viola Rusche.

What Mrs. Rusche said sounded believable enough, until you look at the spot where the trailer was found. There's a makeshift step in front of where the door was, a couple of chairs, and there's a hose for water and there's an electrical cord that leads all the way back to Caleb's grandmother’s house. She insists she doesn’t know how they got there.

Volunteers will spend the next few days cleaning up the mess in the camper.

Keiner says if whoever stole really needed it, he would have helped them too. 

"You know if people like this had picked up the phone and made a phone call there's no telling if we could have maybe helped these people versus them ending up like this,” said Keiner.

Police are still trying to figure out whether Caleb Rusche played a role in the theft of the camper.