Man Stole Salvation Army Van With $6,000 Christmas Gifts: Police

  • A man stole a Salvation Army van full of toys while the volunteers weren’t looking, police said.
  • It was taken while the volunteers overseeing it were in Walmart, officers said.
  • Police identified 37-year-old Anthony Crespin as a suspect.

A man stole a Salvation Army minivan filled with $6,000 worth of Christmas presents for needy children while volunteers were still shopping in a Walmart, police said.

Officers in Farmington, New Mexico, said a Salvation Army employee found the 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan had been stolen after coming back from shopping at Walmart.

The police said on Sunday that 37-year-old Anthony Crespin had been identified as a suspect.

Crespin was helping the volunteer to shop and put toys in the van, then drove away in it while all the volunteers were inside the store, police said.

It is not clear if Crespin was an official volunteer with the organization.

Farmington police spokeswoman Nicole Brown told the Farmington Daily Times: “It is a pretty Grinch-like thing to do.”

The toys were due to be distributed on December 20, the Daily Times reported. The Salvation Army is now trying to replace them, and people in the community had donated toys in response, the report said.

The volunteers were shopping for children who are part of the “Angel Tree” program, police said. The program gives Christmas toys and clothes to children.

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