KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- A nonprofit organization in Jackson County is searching for answers after six of their farm’s ATVs were stolen and the group feels as though the act wasn’t random.
Drayton Riley has been a part of The Gardens at Unity Village out by Lee's Summit since the start and is the president of the board of directors there.
“We founded in the summer of 2009 as an organization with a mission to provide people with healthy local grown food,” he explained.
They also work to educate people about the value of that fresh local food. The group grows everything, from sweet corn, to tomatoes, to potatoes.
“They are a close-knit group of guys,” he said. “They work together a lot.”
“For a volunteer organization, no paid employees, it’s been going very, very,” he said. “Well, we’ve made advances every year.”
That is until the other day, anyway.
According to Riley, thieves broke through a side door lock and entered the garage. Six ATVs inside that are owned by several volunteers were all taken either late Wednesday or early Thursday.
“To do that to anybody is a bad thing but to do it especially to people who are nonprofit people, who are altruistic and idealistic and want to help people, I think that’s just a terrible thing,” he said.
The group provided several pictures of the stolen ATVs and they’re hoping they can be quickly recovered.
With snow still covering the ground and a lot of the gardens, growing isn’t that much of a priority right now so the ATVs wouldn’t necessarily be used that much. However, jump forward to next month and that’s a completely different story.
“By spring, we need to find ways of being able to operate functionally with transportation out here,” Riley said. “To do everything with a wheelbarrow and pulling a wagon behind you just isn’t going to get it done, so we have to recover from this.”
That’s something Riley and the positive group of volunteers said they will do, but the question bothering them still remains, “Why?”
“This was not somebody that drove up in a sedan and found an opportunity and somehow took six ATVs,” Riley said. “They had a plan.”
The group is working hand and hand with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and have even offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the ATVs.