Richmond nonprofit asks for help in finding stolen trailer ahead of Christmas Eve parade


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond nonprofit is asking for the public’s help in finding its trailer after someone stole the vehicle from its parking lot this week.

Ricky Johnson, the founder and president of the Ricky Johnson and Friends Foundation, said he drove to the office on the morning of Monday, Nov. 28, and saw that something was missing.

“As I drove into the parking lot — it’s just normal, you’re looking for the trailers. And that’s when I found out they stole the trailer,” he said.

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The theft happened between Sunday night into early Monday morning — and it was all caught on video, according to Johnson.

He filed a police report and hopes surveillance video from nearby businesses will help identify the thief.

Photo: Ricky Johnson

“It was just a trailer to some people, but for us it was a lifeline,” Johnson said.

Johnson started the nonprofit foundation more than 10 years ago. Every year, dozens of volunteers hold clothing and food drives. They also hand out cribs and toiletries to people living in the Richmond area and beyond.

“We have donation partners calling us to pick up donations and, right now, honestly, it cannot be done [without the trailer],” Johnson said.

Throughout the year, Johnson and his volunteers collected about 25,000 thousand toys to hand out to kids during their annual Christmas Eve Parade.

Valerie Coley, the vice president of the Foundation, said she was in disbelief when she heard about the trailer theft.

“The trailer helps with that love. It helps with that giving. It helps with that sharing. Something as simple as a trailer can change someone’s life,” Coley said.

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As police look for the thief, Johnson hopes whoever stole the trailer will have the heart to haul it back.

“I’m not mad at you for whatever reason you did this. I’m just hurt that it was done to us during this time,” he said.

While it’s not clear who took the trailer or why, investigators ask anyone who may have information about the incident to call the Richmond Police Department.

For more information about the Ricky Johnson Foundation, click here. To donate, contact Johnson at (804) 774-0099.



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