COWETA COUNTY, Ga. -- A group feeding the hungry has been robbed, sparking outrage across a local county.
The crime occurred in Coweta County and word quickly spread across social media – with the law not far behind.
11Alive spent the day with “Bridging the Gap” as they tracked the clues. There are signs posted warning that the property is under 24-hour surveillance. But that didn’t matter to thieves who pulled up and stole a generator that’s used to feed thousands a month.
“They drove in here, they drove around and they parked right here,” Alison Wallace said.
She founded Bridging the Gap in Coweta County as a non-profit aimed at helping those in need.
Layla Smith started working there as a court-ordered volunteer and will never forget their kindness.
“I have a family of five and what they’d give me fed us all week long,” Smith said.
But early Saturday, Wallace said three thieves helped themselves to a generator used to keep donated meats and fruits cool in a trailer.
“They sell it and they’ll probably use it for drugs,” she said.
Thanks to surveillance cameras and a now-viral Facebook post – within 6 hours it was shared almost 1,000 times – Bridging the Gap was able to close the gap – on clues.
“Someone called me and said, ‘I know whose vehicle that is’,” Wallace said. So she gave the owner of the car a call. “He said, ‘I lent it to somebody’.”
Meanwhile, Smith said it doesn’t make any sense.
“My heart was broken,” she said.
The same emotions haunt Wallace.
“It just makes me sad,” she said. “They’re taking away the very thing we need to pick up the groceries for them. It just makes no sense.”
But folks did give back to the non-profit. A brand-new generator was donated and a better security system is on the way. As for the thieves caught on camera, Wallace said the law caught up to them and the old generator was found.
Bridging the Gap hopes to use both generators to serve even more people in their community.