Thousands of dollars in food stolen from homeless ministry

By: Stephanie Baker Email
By: Stephanie Baker Email

February 9, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---A homeless man is accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of food from an Augusta homeless ministry.

Deputies say 24-year-old Jeffery Tedesco lowered himself through a skylight at L.O.T.S. Ministries on Broad Street on several occasions.

The ministry gets no public funding.

"It was devastating," said Betty Crenshaw with L.O.T.S. Ministries. "We had the food laid out for that day's cooking so we could feed the hungry."

She said Tedesco got to the ministry through an alley, where he climbed a tree to the roof. He used a rope to climb down from the skylight, and then raised the food in a bucket attached to the rope.

Betty's son and another Ministry worker waited to catch Tedesco in the act. She said they were there when his rope gave out, and he fell from the top. "He cried. He was much in tears, very frightened."

Sgt. Ken Eskew with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office said two other men showed Tedesco how to do it. "It's odd for food to be stolen and then be told some of it could be traded for drugs."

Police are still looking into the reason for the burglary, but Betty is waiting for Tedesco to get out of jail with open arms. "I don't know what they're going to do with him, but I told him he had a place to go when he got out."

Tedesco faces several burglary charges. Police found a lot of evidence, like fingerprints and parts of his fake teeth. Two other suspects are still on the loose. Both are black males, one known as Ray and the other T-Bone.

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