Woman asks for thieves to bring back "The Beast"

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Vehicles are stolen every day in Oklahoma City. But one metro woman says she’s desperate to have her stolen van back. She says the loss affects not only her, but hundreds of homeless people downtown.

Carolyn Herr woke Tuesday morning to find her van missing. She says she’d never worried about it being stolen before.  

“It’s nothing that when I drive by, people go, ‘Wow, I need to get one of those,'” Herr said.

Affectionately named “The Beast,” the 1989 two-tone brown van isn’t what you’d call sleek, but it’s the lifeblood of Herr’s mission. 

“My van being gone affects at least four to 500 of the homeless people downtown,” Herr said.

Herr crochets six hours a day and sells her products at the OSU/OKC Farmer’s Market. 

“I use 100 percent of the money I earn there to buy all the provisions that we hand out to the homeless.” 

Herr collects provisions throughout the year, and every December, hauls boxes of clothes, food and toiletries downtown. 

She uses “The Beast” to haul those things, as well as to get her crafts to market. 

“I’m in a quandary. How do I load up say 400 square feet of product to go to market?” Herr said.

Herr says she first felt the calling to help the homeless when she and her husband moved to Oklahoma City 10 years ago. 

“My husband, who works downtown, saw people trying to take a bath in the garden hose behind the building,” Herr said.

She started out by handing out some blankets and soap.

Over the years her charity, HERR Projects, has grown to hundreds of toiletry kits and clothes being passed out. 

Carolyn says she wants to continue but needs her van back. 

“It’s just not something people want. Except me, I’d like it back!”

Carolyn filed a police report.   

She says the thieves probably haven’t gone far. 

She has a locking gas cap on the van and the only key to that cap is still on her keychain.

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