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Thieves steal gifts under church’s tree

Updated: January 3, 2012 9:13AM

ANTIOCH — The Grinch visited St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Antioch and stole $700 worth of donated gifts for needy children.

Someone walked into the church between noon and 4 p.m. Monday and took the gifts that church members had donated for Open Arms Mission’s adopt-a-family program, according to Pastor Ellen Arthur.

“We give people around town help with gas and food. We feel like we’ve tried to help people out, so if they could (return the stolen gifts), we could talk about helping them. But to take children’s presents really stinks,” Arthur said Tuesday.

Dozens of toys, clothing and coats for children up to age 17 were piled beneath the church’s Christmas tree, Arthur said.

The church has until Dec. 9 to finish collecting donated gifts for Open Arms Mission.

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