LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A local pro-life group is asking for help after it was targeted by a thief Monday morning.
A man stole a trailer that Arkansas Right to Life uses to transport its “Crosses for Life” display across the state.
“My heart sank,” said Rose Mimms, Arkansas Right to Life’s executive director, “when I pulled into the parking lot this morning and saw that it was gone. Because I knew the slim chance of getting it back.”
The trailer contains nearly 4,000 crosses, which represent every abortion performed in the United States every day.
“A lot of people, you know, it’s ‘out of sight, out of mind,’” Mimms said about abortion. “They don’t think about the deaths of the children by abortion, so this display helps to bring attention to that.”
The display, which Mimms said is roughly the size of a football field, usually stays at a church or a field for a month at a time. She said it is often requested by the same groups year after year.
“If we don’t get the trailer back, it’s gonna take us a while to get this ministry going again and get this outreach going again,” Mimms claimed, “because we have to start from scratch. And we struggle as it is. I don’t know if we will be able to.”
Surveillance video shows the man drive a gray minivan into Arkansas Right to Life’s parking lot just after 2:00 a.m. Monday. The man appeared to get spooked on his first attempt, so he drove away, only to return three minutes later to steal the trailer.
“At 2:00 a.m., you know, most people are sleeping,” Mimms said with a sigh. “But people who are thieves, they’re out looking for what they can steal.”
Four minutes after he backed his minivan up to the trailer, he departed with it. Mimms noted that the man was barefoot when he stole the trailer, and thinks he might live nearby, in a neighborhood she feels has gotten rougher over the years.
“I think he was looking for some fast cash, you know, maybe off of the wheels and tires of the trailer,” she speculated. “So that gives me hope that, probably, we’ll get our trailer back.”
Mimms contacted the Little Rock Police Department Monday morning, and plans to give them a copy of the surveillance footage that showed the robbery. She said this was the first time she used the security system, which was only installed a couple months ago. When she first discovered the trailer was missing, she feared that a team of thieves might have disable the camera before they took the trailer; instead, the video shows one man, with his face at times visible to the camera.
“But we’ve got something to go on, and that gives me hope that this guy will be found, or that our trailer will be found,” she said. “You know, that’s my main hope, that the trailer’s found, we get the crosses back, and we’ll let the Little Rock police deal with this guy who stole them from us.”
Mimms did not think the robbery had anything to do with the organization’s anti-abortion message. She admitted that there are people who oppose Arkansas Right to Life’s work, but does not suspect any of them in this crime. Instead, she has faith the trailer will be found.
“He’s preventing us from doing what we do, and we’d really like it back,” she said, “so I’m hoping that he’ll do the right thing and bring it back, or tell us where it is so we can come get it.”
© 2017 KTHV-TV