Thieves Steal Christmas Gifts From Needy in El Mirage

For 50 years, residents in El Mirage have given Christmas gifts to kids in need. But over the weekend, their pile of presents was ransacked.

By Jacob Rascon and Julie Brayton
|  Thursday, Nov 15, 2012  |  Updated 3:29 PM PDT
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Thieves Steal Christmas Gifts From Needy in El Mirage

In Southern California's high desert sits a community with one gas station, about 2,000 people, and leaders with big hearts.

"We're a small community, and we try and help the less fortunate," resident George Callaway said.

Every Christmas for half a century, residents and community leaders collect thousands of dollars in donated gifts for the area's low-income families.

"It's for the kids," Callaway said. "Some of these kids would not get gifts if it wasn't for us."
But this year a Grinch, or two, literally stole Christmas.

The 40-foot container the community uses to store all holiday decorations, among Easter and Christmas gifts, already wrapped and ready for Santa, was ransacked over the weekend.

"If you're watching this, and you stole the presents, we're not happy with you," said resident Angel Delreal.

"We need the Christmas party for the kids out here," resident Betty Davis said. "They don't have anything else."

Whoever took the gifts apparently didn't want girl presents, but everything else was taken – about $6,500 worth.

"The people who did this are low-life," Callaway said. "I mean, why would you steal?"

Now, the community is going back to the drawing board, locking up their container again, and hoping the real-life Grinch has a change of heart.

If you're interested in helping the El Mirage Christmas Children's Christmas Party go on this year, contact Karen Godinho at 760-953-2760. You can also mail gifts to: El Mirage Chamber of Commerce, 1426 El Mirage Road, El Mirage, California 92301.

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