Thieves target Tempe church stealing presents

Posted at 11:04 PM, Dec 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-10 01:04:34-05

A Grinch visited a Tempe church, stealing donated gifts for families this holiday season. 

The church hangs a wish list of items on a Christmas tree for the congregation to donate presents during the holiday seas. This year, Gethsemane Lutheran Church is helping two families in need.

"It's just a way our congregation can give back," pastor Troy Schmidt said.

Gifts started to trickle in to help a single mother of four and as well as the parents of five children.

"It's pretty neat when they do come , they will fill up this front office area," Schmidt said, but now the pastor said someone decided to steal Christmas from the families. 

"My initial reaction is surprise that someone would do this," he said. 

He said between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesday, someone walked into the church and stolen a laptop as well as several gifts that were on a table.

"The monetary value wasn't huge, even the laptop was an older one so it is not the money," he said. "It is just that someone would do that." 

He wishes whoever committed the theft would just come clean

"There is a need, we want to care for them," he said. "We would have just rather you asked us for help instead of taking someone else's things."

If you are interested in donating, the church says gift cards would help. You can drop them off at the church's office located at 1035 E. Guadalupe in Tempe.