Thief steals thousands of dollars in future Christmas gifts from Indy church

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s nearly Christmas in July, but you won’t find the holiday spirit at one local church. Crooks stole it.

“Ultimately it’s the principle of it. You’re taking from kids that otherwise would not have a Christmas,” said an emotional Jamie Inskeep who is the Outreach Team Leader for Church 52.

The Indianapolis church said someone broke into their storage units outside their building and made off with nearly $10,000 in gifts.

Every year, the church gives away presents to families in need during a Christmas event. They turn their church into a department store for parents to come and get toys and groceries. In the meantime, their kids can get free haircuts and time with Santa Claus.

The operation takes a year to plan and fundraise. They began serving 24 kids and now nine years later, it’s roughly 250.

“We want them to just feel loved on,” Inskeep said of parents and families, “We want them to feel empowered. We want them to walk out, and feel they can take on life. Even though everything is free, we feel like they are actually shopping, and not receiving charity from a church. We don’t just give one or two gifts to these families, we provide an entire Christmas. If you were shopping for your kid for Christmas, you wouldn’t buy them one present?”

Church administrators believe this was a premeditated hit. Their storage unity was broken into recently, but nothing was taken. They put up cameras afterward, but the footage doesn’t clearly enough show who did this.

“We did order additional cameras that are in and being installed,” Inskeep said.

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