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Residents Respond After Grinch Hits Gables Church

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CORAL GABLES (CBS4) -You could call him the Grinch who stole Christmas for a Coral Gables church.

A Heartless thief stole dozens of Christmas presents for needy children from Wesley United Methodist Church at 133 Ponce De Leon.

The burglary was captured on the church’s surveillance cameras.

A man is seen entering through a window then throwing bags filled with toys over the church fence.

“How he could do that to us, not just to us but the children,” says Nora Madan, a volunteer at the Church.

The toys had been collected during the church’s annual Christmas toy drive.

“Someone came in through a window got an electric guitar from the sanctuary and then went into the pastor’s office where we had our toy drive toys,” says Madan.

The burglary was discovered a day before Sunday services.

“It hurt all of us. First of all we couldn’t believe someone would rob a church let along for Christmas,” she says.

But once word about the burglary spread, kind hearted people from across South Florida donated more toys to make sure needy children got a present for Christmas.

“I brought toys, I didn’t want those children without toys,” says Silvia Angulo who donated toys.

Church officials say with the community’s help they met and exceeded their goal and can now help more children this year.

As for the thief?

“I feel sad for him, it’s a sad story in one way but a blessing in another, because now we can really help more kids this year,” says Madan.

The church will continue excepting donated toys through Tuesday.

If you have any information about this crime you are urged to call Miami Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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