Cleveland police investigate stolen trailers from churches

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF) — Utility trailers are being stolen from churches in Cleveland.

This past weekend one ministry had two trailers stolen. In them were thousands of dollars worth of materials for an upcoming event.

Behind Trinity Presbyterian Church, three trailers were parked in the back. But now nothing is there. They were stolen over the weekend. Two of the trailers belonged to Kairos, a prison ministry.

“We go into Pikeville, Bledsoe County Correctional Facility. We spend three and a half days with thirty men. And the motto is listen, listen, love, love,” said Max Hughes, with Kairos Prison Ministry.

Hughes looked over pictures of what was taken.

“The trailers that were stolen were full of educational materials for the trailer that goes into prison and the kitchen trailer has lots of kitchens and warming ovens, and things like that,” he said.

Hughes estimates the trailers, equipment and merchandise were worth more than 20 thousand dollars. And they have an upcoming event.

“We have four weeks to replace all of that, very devastating, but with the Lord’s help it is happening,” Hughes said.

The church never had a problem with vandalism or theft before.

“I think people thought it was generally safe to have the trailers here. We would like to think they are safe on church property. So yeah I think they were pretty surprised,” said Pastor Philip Caines, with Trinity Presbyterian Church.

This isn’t the only church targeted. Cleveland Police are investigating thefts of at least five utility trailers which were stolen this month from church parking lots. They released surveillance photos of some of the suspects.

As for Hughes, he is looking ahead and sees the irony in this.

“Churches, come on guys. If you are going to steal, steal, but churches. You are the kind of people we are trying to reach. Those are the same folks we are going to be ministering in four weeks. The guys that are locked up for theft, drugs and other things,” Hughes said.

If you are interested in donating to Kairos, you can contact Max Hughes at maxhughes0610@yahoo.com. You can mail donations to Kairos, 2401 N. Ocoee Street, Box 189, Cleveland, TN 37311

If you have any information about the thefts, you are asked to contact Cleveland Police Department. You can contact Detective Bill Parks directly at 423-559-3321.

Categories: Cleveland, Crime, Local News