The director of the Statesboro Food Bank is offering a reward for the return of a utility trailer stolen from the premises sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. If a tip leads to an arrest, he will double the offer.
The black 16-foot trailer doesn’t belong to the food bank, but Joe Bill Brannon, who is also vice president of operations for the food bank, purchased the trailer in March with his own funds, solely for use in hauling foods from various sources to the Statesboro food bank outlet, he said.
According to Statesboro police reports, the trailer was stolen sometime between 6 p.m. Tuesday and 9:15 a.m. Wednesday. Brannon returned to the food bank on Donnie Simmons Way Wednesday morning to find someone had cut a cable tethering the trailer to a tree.
“They had to use bolt cutters,” he said. “It was a pretty heavy cable.”
Brannon offers a $500 reward for the trailer’s return, and will up the reward to $1,000 if a tip leads to the arrest of the person responsible for the theft.
Brannon bought the trailer in March because the trailer the food bank was using to haul food at the tine “was not big enough,” he said. He used his own money because “the food bank doesn’t have enough money to buy one,” he said.
The cost of purchasing another trailer will come out of Brannon’s wallet, too. He said the food bank cannot wait until the trailer is returned or found because “people need food now.” Thursday, he was making plans to purchase a new trailer at a cost of $2,200.
“Somebody stealing from the food bank makes me sick,” he said.
The Statesboro Food Bank provides emergency food supplies for families in need. It relies on local donations from individuals and food drives as well as items obtained from other sources such as Second Harvest in Savannah.
Anyone with information about the trailer theft is asked to contact Statesboro Police Det. Sgt. Patrick Harrelson at (912) 764-9911, or submit an anonymous tip to www.tipsoft.com.
Information may also be given to Brannon, who may be reached at (912) 682-4144.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.