Police arrested a truck driver for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank on Thursday after an investigation revealed he was delivering food from grocery stores to his house instead of the food bank.
Andre Lester Coates, 48, was seen delivering thousands of dollars worth of food from local stores — including Associated Grocers, Costco and Trader Joe’s — to his Glen Oaks Drive home between November and January, according to a police report.
Coates, a 10-year-veteran at the food bank, was captured via surveillance technology unloading items from his food bank truck at his house with the help of at least two other people on at least four occasions, the report says.
Coates was booked into Parish Prison on counts of felony theft, booking records show.
“It is truly disappointing and unfortunate that one individual allegedly placed a higher value on personal gain than that of those who are truly in need of food assistance,” Mike Manning, the food bank’s president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.
Manning also said authorities recovered some of the food allegedly stolen by Coates.
“We will salvage and use what we can to fulfill our mission of serving the hungry in the greater Baton Rouge area,” Manning said.
Coates posted $6,000 bail and was released from Parish Prison on Thursday.
Follow Ben Wallace on Twitter @_BenWallace.