Gifts collected for 5 families stolen

by: Essex Porter Updated:

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SEATTLE - The employees of a local housing agency were stunned when the Christmas presents they collected for five families were stolen.

The Grinch was caught on surveillance cameras slipping into the locked parking garage at Bellwether, on Seattle's Capitol Hill. The video shows him stealing $700 worth of presents for the YWCA's Adopt a Family program from the trunk of a car.

The theft wasn't discovered until the donors were at the YWCA trying to deliver the gifts. Without those gifts, five families would go without presents on Christmas.

"We didn't even have that fear because the (Bellwether) employees were so good immediately, they just wanted to fix it right away," said Erin Murphy, the YWCA's director of community engagement.

The employees quickly got over their shock and bought even more presents the second time around, more than $900 worth.

"Times are tight, money is tight, but there wasn't a question or a doubt that we want to make this right, and we're willing to do what we need to do to make sure these families get what they have asked for Christmas," said Bellwether Human Relations Director Carole Williams.

The thief is still at large, but police will examine the surveillance video in an attempt to catch him.