NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Niles detectives are looking through surveillance video for suspects responsible for stealing from Niles Community Services Sunday morning.
The organization that helps more than 600 children with gifts at Christmas was the target of a break-in.
A tire iron was discovered on the floor of the building Sunday morning. It tipped off Director Jean Williams that someone had broken in.
“At first there’s shock,” Williams said. “I mean, you look around and you say, ‘Wait what happened?'”
The staff found gift baskets torn apart and two bikes gone. They were items set to be raffled off at their Santaland benefit later on Sunday.
Among the items stolen were a brand new TV, which was going to be delivered to a family in need Monday morning.
“I was angry at the people,” Williams said. “Why would you take from the children? Why would you take from the people we are trying to help? They didn’t ask for this and neither did we.”
“To go in and steal something that’s set aside for a charitable offering, it’s definitely along the lines of the ‘Grinch Who Stole Christmas,'” Niles Police Capt. John Marshall said.
Just by looking at the back door, you can tell that is how the thieves entered the building. They even left behind some evidence of their entry.
Williams says the community stepped up to the plate — replacing the items for the benefit and offering to help with anything else they may need.
Now Niles police are asking for tips hoping someone may know something, while detectives continue their investigation.
“They are in the process of reviewing some video in order to try to get some footage of the people who might be responsible for it,” Marshall said.
Contact Niles Police at 330-652-9944 with any information.