Arlington burglars steal Angel Tree gifts

12/20/2013 4:02 PM

12/20/2013 4:04 PM

About 20 children may go without Christmas gifts after a burglar hit a Salvation Army warehouse in Arlington on Thursday night, a spokesman for the charity said.

“The good news is we had finished our Angel Tree distribution from that location,” Pat Patey said. “The bad news is that eight families hadn’t picked up their bundles, and the thieves got those gifts.”

Police investigators found no signs of forced entry at the warehouse, 921 W. Mayfield Road, said Sgt. Jeffrey Houston, an Arlington police spokesman.

“Investigators will continue to look into this burglary to see who might be responsible,” Houston said.

The loss is estimated at $1,000, Patey said.

It’s impossible to know the total value of the contents of the stolen red plastic bags, because they were filled with gifts that donors bought from lists hung on area Angel Trees, Patey said.

Each paper angel has a need item, a wish item and clothing sizes, Patey said. People who pick the angels off trees decide what to buy, then bring the items to Salvation Army collection sites.

On Wednesday and Thursday, 1,244 families were scheduled to pick up gifts from 14 distribution sites in Dallas-Fort Worth, Patey said. The eight families that were late included 20 children.

“Each bag holds gifts for a specific family and has a code number on the outside, and each gift inside is labeled with the code number,” Patey said. “Gifts for individual children within the family are in white bags inside the red ones.”

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