Thieves Steal Trailer from Relief Foundation

Trailer stolen from South Beltline-Gills Creek foundation for flood help

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - When disaster strikes, some people use it as a chance to help others.

Unfortunately, others use it as an opportunity to take advantage of the situation.

The South Beltline - Gills Creek Community Relief Foundation found this out when they were targeted by thieves on Saturday at their Shop Road location in Columbia.

"It's one thing to steal from somebody but I don't know how anybody could steal from a nonprofit," said Rachel Larratt, the executive administrator for the foundation.

As Hurricane Matthew was hitting the Midlands, thieves were hitting the relief foundation.

"They had cut the padlock and were able to open the gate," Larratt said.

There is a security camera pointing at the gate, but the power went out.

"Due to the length that the power went out, we're not sure if the back-up batteries were still running," Larratt said.

Larratt says she was out helping people with storm damage when it happened.

"The storm hit and brought down a lot of trees," Larratt said, "so we Saturday morning started cutting down trees, finding people that needed help and spent the next two, two-and-a-half days doing that."

She came back to find that two trailers were missing. One belonged to her landlord, the other was her own personal trailer.

"I've been using it for the foundation to pick up supplies, deliver supplies, just do pretty much anything you need a 20-foot enclosed trailer to do," Larratt said. "They're a vital part of our operation, and to have the one and only one that we had is now gone, we just simply cannot afford to replace it."

Along with moving supplies, Larratt says the trailer had sentimental value to her, too.

"It's from when I used to drive race cars and it kind of had a lot of memories because I retired and I don't drive anymore, so I've always kind of held on to it because it comes in useful," Larratt said.

"It's a very unfortunate situation when you have a Good Samaritan who's helping out others and then you have individuals who come and do something like this," said Curtis Wilson, a Lieutenant at the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Wilson hopes anyone with information will come forward.

"We want to know if anyone's seen anything, if we have any witnesses, anyone who knows who may be responsible for this," Wilson said.

That is something Larratt hopes for too.

"I'm working 40, 50, 60 hours a week volunteering my time, and taking a loss like this..." Larratt says, "you know, trailers aren't cheap."

Still, Larratt says this setback will not stop her from helping the community.

"I just hope they understand the amount of people they're hurting by stealing something that was a resource that we needed," Larratt said.

If you have any information on the stolen trailers, you are asked to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-CRIME-SC
 


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment