Two charged with stealing church disaster relief trailer


by Adam Walser

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 25 at 8:39 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A trailer equipped to help victims of natural disasters has been recovered after police say it was stolen from outside a church by two men late last week.

The trailer was stolen from Shelby County, but the victims didn't even know it was gone until it turned up at a Jefferson County residence and the thieves tried to get it repaired.

“We've had this trailer in 16 different states doing disaster relief work,” Bob Perkins, a volunteer for the Shelby County Baptist Association Disaster Relief Team said.

That trailer traveled across the country on behalf of the Southern Baptist Convention, offering help and hope to countless victims of tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other disasters.

The trailer went to West Liberty, Ky. after last March's tornado, the New York coast after Hurricane Sandy and even Ground Zero in the days following 911.

But its latest trip was likely its last, after police say the trailer was stolen by Brad Fisher and Kenneth Ratliff.

“It looks like the trailer's going to be totaled. One of the axles is broken. The other is bent. The tongue is bent,” Perkins said.

The trailer was stolen from a parking lot in Simpsonville Thursday night. Members of the relief organization didn't even realize it was missing until they got a call from Louisville Metro Police.

Police found the damaged and ransacked trailer at Fisher's home in Eastern Jefferson County.

More than $3,000 worth of gear, including chain saws, tools and generators were missing.

Police say the suspects had pawn tickets for some of the items.

Now volunteers are trying to replace the trailer and tools before tornado and flood season.

They have another concern involving the suspects.

“I'm more worried about their eternal life than I am about them making restitution or serving time,” said Perkins.

Both of the suspects have posted bond and been released from jail.

If you want to help the Southern Baptist Convention replace the disaster trailer, you can click here.