Two men are accused of stealing a trailer belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its Boy Scouts troop. The trailer has been returned to the church.
Timothy Neal Bruce, 32, and Christopher Wayne Cohen, 47, are charged with taking the trailer Feb. 12 from the Riverside Drive church in Gainesville.
The troop had roughly $3,000 in camping supplies inside the trailer, as the Scouts were preparing for an annual trip to Blood Mountain.
“Fortunately, most of the contents of the trailer were recovered and returned to the Boy Scouts troop,” Gainesville Police Sgt. Kevin Holbrook wrote in a news release.
Bishop Adam LeBlanc said someone painted over the trailer to conceal the church’s signage. Not having much hope for the trailer’s return, LeBlanc said the phone call from police was “amazing.”
“I think what was more shocking was the outpouring of the community, and it just showed me that there is a lot of good out there,” he said.
LeBlanc said the news of the missing trailer “opened the hearts of the community,” including a woman from Atlanta driving to donate supplies for the trip.
“We had phone calls after phone calls of people wanting to donate trailers and donate equipment and things like that. We are very blessed to live in Gainesville and Hall County,” LeBlanc said.
Police said the trailer was found through tips from the public.
“It is sad that these young Scouts, who work so hard for these items and provide so much for the community, had everything taken from them,” Gainesville Police Chief Carol Martin said in a statement. “We are pleased to have recovered the stolen property and returned it to these fine young men.”