Officials said the trailer was put together after Hurricane Floyd and was equipped with enough gear to help 150 people stay warm and dry. Officials said the gear was so new that it had been used only once during the recent ice storm.
"I really think if the thieves knew what good they would have done, maybe they wouldn't have taken them. Maybe, they didn't realize what they were for," said Rosalie Lemieux of the Rocky Mount chapter of the American Red Cross.
Officials said the thieves went to a lot of trouble to steal it. They hooked it up and drove it out of a storage facility, located on north Wesleyan Boulevard. Officials said they had to know the code to get in and out of the fence.
Officials said the timing of the incident is terrible. Because of the soft economy and the events of Sept. 11, donations on a local level are dramatically down. The local chapter in Rocky Mount said it does not have the budget to replace the trailer.
"We're probably in the worst financial statement we've been in in my 27 years," Lemieux said. "Nobody knows, except our board, really, how bad our budget problems are."
Workers did recover several cots from the trailer that were dumped in an Edgecombe County field. Officials with the Rocky Mount chapter said it will gratefully take donations to replace the trailer. With all the gear inside, the trailer cost about $8,000.
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