Watkinsville man upset that charity took property without permission

Bill McGraw has nothing against being charitable, but when a person representing an organization that promotes itself as a charity took his belongings without permission, he has been less than forgiving.

McGraw said he reached out to the man who runs the Lawrenceville-based organization called NSPIRE Outreach to have his items returned.

“He has not responded in any way, shape or form,” McGraw said Tuesday.

The incident was reported as a theft to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 7. On that day, McGraw said he had placed some boxes of collectibles owned by his deceased brother on the front porch of his Watkinsville home with plans to place them in storage.

McGraw, who said he was home, went outside and found the boxes gone. He called for a deputy and while the officer was there, McGraw said he found a card from NSPIRE “that said thank you for your donation. Sorry we missed you.”

McGraw called NSPIRE and discussed the matter and on Aug. 20 they brought him a couple of boxes containing some of his antique books and some toys he didn’t own.

McGraw said he made numerous telephone calls, but the organization no longer accepts his calls.

The collectibles had an approximate value of $250, McGraw said, so he sent a registered letter to Gregg Kennard, the pastor and executive director of NSPIRE.

“He had to physically sign for it himself. It’s called restricted delivery, so I know he got it,” McGraw said.

Sheriff’s Investigator James Hale said Tuesday he has tried to contact the company without success.

McGraw and NSPIRE “had kind of entered into an agreement in that they would return the stuff because they went to the wrong house … the problem is what they returned isn’t everything that was taken,” Hale said.

McGraw said he also consulted with District Attorney Ken Mauldin, who said it was a civil matter due to a problem with “criminal intent.”

McGraw said he researched NSPIRE over the Internet and discovered reports showing they have been investigated several times in the past for various complaints regarding the way they operate.

The Banner-Herald contacted NSPIRE Tuesday morning and a representative said the message would be given to Kennard, but the call wasn’t immediately returned.