Turkey theft brings Thanksgiving trouble for small business in east Alabama

Alabama News

SALEM, Ala. (WRBL) — On the night before Thanksgiving, 13 turkeys were stolen from Backwater BBQ in Salem.

“After I got through crying, I got angry. I got very angry. I’m a simple man, I live by a simple code, and part of that code is you take care of family. They stole from my family,” said Wayne Wommack, co-owner of Backwater BBQ.

Every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Wommack and Judy Kempft prepare meals for veterans and first responders as a way to give back to their community. The turkeys that were stolen were being smoked for that specifically.

“So many people do things before they think about what they’re doing and if they would just take a pause… It’s Thanksgiving… he would have given it to them,” Dana Espositio from Operation Iron Ruck said.

When word got out about the theft, the community showed up in a big way. Some stores even stayed open after closing so they could purchase more turkeys and donations poured in for them to do so.

“God’s got His hand in this somewhere. Something good is going to come from today,” Wommack said.

If anyone has any information about the turkey thieves, people are encouraged to call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (334) 749-5651.

Wommack and Kempf are worried about the financial setback this could bring to their business and in their efforts to continue to give back. Community members interested in giving to Backwater BBQ can do so here.


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