Theft of Agape’s generator makes it hard to feed the needy


By Sheryl Roadcap - sroadcap@sidneydailynews.com



The strip of metal that was broken.

The strip of metal that was broken.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News The strip of metal that was broken during the robbery.

On Thursday, Oct. 22, Agape Distribution Chief Executive Officer John Geissler demonstrates how thieves stole a generator, that had been padlocked to the Agape mobile food pantry trailer, by picking up the generator and twisting it until the strip of metal attached to the trailer that the padlock was attached to broke.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

SIDNEY — Information is sought about the theft of a generator stolen from Agape Distribution’s mobile food pantry on Brooklyn Avenue.

Agape Distribution aims to provide “hope for the hurting” and is committed to make sure Shelby County residents don’t go hungry through their food distribution pantry.

The 4750-watt, duel-fuel Champion generator is believed to have been stolen Monday night, Oct. 19, said John Geissler, CEO of Agape. The generator, valued at $1,200, was bolted down at the front hitch area of the mobile trailer where it attaches to a truck to be hauled.

“Yesterday (Wednesday) we went out to get ready, because we always service (the mobile pantry) on either Wednesday or Thursday for Saturday, for the Saturday distribution, and then (the generator) was gone,” Geissler said.

The generator powers the lights, heat, and refrigeration for the mobile unit taken out to distribute food to those in need at four to six stops across Shelby County every Saturday. During the Saturday mobile food distributions, Agape provides 21 meals to feed a family of four for about 120 registered familes a month.

Agape has had issues with a “dumpster diver” in the past, Geissler said, and has called the police several times due to items taken out of their compactor.

“The dumpster diver, he would take things out of the compactor and will usually hide them by them by the mobile trailer, so it’s not a long stretch of the imagination to think he may have got some guys together to steal that generator,” he explained. “But, the generator, you had to unbolt it. It is a 400-pound-unit. They worked hard to get that thing.”

Agape is replacing the generator by using the non-profit’s credit card. Insurance will pay for some of it, but the organization will still have to pay a deductible. Geissler said the sad thing is the main ones hurt by the “selfish” theft are the one already hurting. He noted the money spent to replace the stolen generator would have fed a lot of people. Geissler said $1 will provide 14 pounds of food.

“When we have to take $750, that would provide 10,000 pounds of food. So whenever we have to spend money on something that’s been stolen, all it does it make it harder for us to keep feeding folks and providing for families. That is the irritation of it,” Geissler said.

The new generator will be protected by a newly installed cage around it on the trailer.

Agape feeds about 55 families through the week at the Brooklyn Avenue shop, and typically 20 to 30 families on the weekend, Geissler said. He noted they have seen an additional increase in need in September from the increase earlier in the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Those in need of help, should bring their ID to Agape at 209 Brooklyn Ave., fill out an application and declare their income. They are working to “make it hard to go hungry in Shelby County,” Geissler said.

At this time, they “have nothing to go on” as to who took the generator Monday night, Geissler said, and currently, Sidney Police have no suspects. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Sidney Police at 937-498-2351. Anyone interested in donating should call Agape Distribution at 937-498-4368.

The strip of metal that was broken.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/10/web1_DSC_0769.jpgThe strip of metal that was broken.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News The strip of metal that was broken during the robbery.

On Thursday, Oct. 22, Agape Distribution Chief Executive Officer John Geissler demonstrates how thieves stole a generator, that had been padlocked to the Agape mobile food pantry trailer, by picking up the generator and twisting it until the strip of metal attached to the trailer that the padlock was attached to broke.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/10/web1_SDN102320TheftAgape.jpgOn Thursday, Oct. 22, Agape Distribution Chief Executive Officer John Geissler demonstrates how thieves stole a generator, that had been padlocked to the Agape mobile food pantry trailer, by picking up the generator and twisting it until the strip of metal attached to the trailer that the padlock was attached to broke. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

By Sheryl Roadcap

sroadcap@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.