Thief Swipes Donated Gifts From Antioch Church

Updated 11/30/11 – 9:10 p.m.

ANTIOCH (CBS) — A church in far north suburban Antioch is scrambling – after someone stole items that were donated as Christmas gifts for needy families.

As CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports, during regular business hours on Monday, somebody walked into St. Stephen Lutheran Church and stole $700 worth of toys, coats other items intended for Open Arms Mission Charities.

“What drives somebody to steal kids’ Christmas presents?” pastor Ellen Arthur said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger Reports

All the thieves left behind was a box and some wrapping paper.

“This was going to be for a 5-year-old girl. There were shirt, snow pants and boots in here,” Arthur said.

Arthur said church members had gathered about 20 gift packages right near the door.

“What’s really so heartwarming about St. Stephen people, they not only put in, like, a pair of boots for a little boy, but they put in several pairs of socks, or a little toy truck or an extra little book or something,” she said.

But the empty space left where piles of gifts should be sent the pastor on a frantic search, on the chance someone moved the presents for safekeeping.

The church posted news of the theft on its website and the community pitched in with replacement gifts.

Calls pledging more help were still coming in Wednesday evening.

“Just like everybody else, we don’t have a lot of extra cushion, as far as money goes” Arthur said. “We are counting on the generosity of people … again.”

So, the church plans to start over. They have until Dec. 9 to get new donations for the Open Arms Mission, which aids families in the far northern suburbs.

“We’ll get those gifts to the kids, that’s for sure,” Arthur said.

“We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls and a lot of really nice response from the community,” said church member Vicky Hill.

Arthur said it was especially frustrating, because the suspect had to be someone who was familiar with the church to know the gifts were there.

People who still want to donate should take their donations to St. Stephen at 1155 Hillside Ave. in Antioch, call the church at (847-395-3359) or visit the church’s website by clicking here.

They’d like to have all the packages ready by next Thursday to donate to the Open Arms Mission in Antioch.

  • Dominic

    These people should be shot.

    • Violet


    • Anon

      Dress them up as deer. If anything, it’ll be an accident. ;)

    • Tim

      Double Tap

    • james

      enabling society, and too many lawyers; so you can’t do anything, except sit and stew. I guess we could change some of these pc laws. I dunno, anybody got a cigarette?

    • Chicago Nick

      Hear hear to that bro. If I caught these lowlives in the act they would’ve been hauled away in freaking bodybags. I’m so sick of the s c u m in this country we have to all mobilize and remove it ourselves since the state and the Commie OBammie Cabal won’t freaking do it. Come to mention it cleaning out that cesspool should be first on the list.

      Our founders woulda hung the 111th and most of the 112th congress right after hanging US for electing all that s c u m into office and rightfully so is how I feel at this point. SICK OF IT> STEP IN MY WORLD AND YOU WILL PAY all you s c u m b u c k e t s.

      I’m praying for it actually, please come my way so I can take a lifetime of anger out on your azzes

  • Massimo Deportado

    Inside job. Bets?

    How else would the slime know that stuff was even there?

    • Tim

      Alot of churches have donation boxes for the needy. It is not any big secret.

    • anon

      Easy, most people put presents somewhere secure, DUH. Gee, I wonder which doors are secure.

    • Christy Jordan Holt

      Wow, really???……..Because EVERY church in America has a drive this time of year for toys, food and clothing for the needy.

    • Chicago Nick

      No everyone knows the churches are filled with this stuff during the Holidays, Used to be in this country the church was sacred and anyone with the ballzz to enter the house of GOD and steal under his nose and the cross will be met with their maker in a way that they deserve if they don’t get it first in this life.

      Prior to 1975 we didn’t have these problems and slime in this nation. Now today we have s c u m from all corners of the earth who come here from their third world cesspools and bring their bad habits and lowlife mentality with them and refuse to integrate and assimilate. I thought the nation would have tired of this long ago, but instead it gets worse and worse.

      Pretty soon we’re gonna have to vigilante squad these people and send them begging to go back home, that’s the only way it’ll happen in this lifetime.

  • TG

    Where was Jon Corzine at the time in question?

  • tz

    What is address for donations?

    • Chicago Nick

      “People who still want to donate should take their donations to St. Stephen at 1155 Hillside Ave. in Antioch, call the church at (847-395-3359) or visit the church’s website ” ;)

      last paragraph of the article by the way! ;)

  • Gifts Donated To Needy Children Stolen From Suburban Church | Weird News

    […] in the 1100 block of Hillside Drive in Antioch, Ill., discovered the theft on Monday after someone appeared to have entered the church and took away items donated to Open Arms Mission Charities and p…, CBS Chicago […]

  • GM

    “paster Ellen”? This article leaves me with more questions about the author, the church and the “paster”.

    • JeddMcHead

      “Paster”? Is that someone who pastes?

  • Gifts Donated To Needy Children Stolen From Suburban Church « CrimeAlertBlog.Com

    […] in the 1100 block of Hillside Drive in Antioch, Ill., discovered the theft on Monday after someone appeared to have entered the church and took away items donated to Open Arms Mission Charities and p…, CBS Chicago […]

  • Wayne

    Honest people leave their doors unlocked for they cannot imagine anyone taking something that is not their own. A church’s doors should always be open for they only exist to serve those in need. All church’s are full of sinners so this person came to the right place but again made the wrong decision. Let us hope he will some day return to stay and learn and grow.

    • Stevo


  • NY9Solyndra


  • Eliot

    My thought was: what do thieves want with children’s coats and teddy bears? Are they hot black-market items? Are there really people who buy that stuff under the table?

    • Richard Henkle

      ever hear of ebay?

    • Chicago Nick

      Ever heard the joke “what did the illegal alien and ghetto hoodies get for Christmas? Someone else’s stuff, that’s what!!”

      There’s your answer right there.

      • JByrd42

        Spot on Nick. I was thinking the same thing, but you had the guts to post it first.

  • Steve Bennett


  • xfiler93

    sickening. nothing is sacred since we outlaw GOD from schools and everywhere else. pathetic. Hope those who stole that stuff suffer in many ways.

  • Clearhead56

    Nothing unusual here. Standard procedure in the Rahmmie-boy area. His spreading up as far as Antioch just shows how efficient that evil machine is.

  • Ghostsouls

    The libs have been stealing Christmas from Americans ever since they gained a majority. Where was Eric Holder?

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  • Andrew

    This is sickening….

    I say hang the schmuck or schmucks who did this from the tallest tree you can find.

    • Will

      I’ll get the noose haha

  • meadowlands

    Same thing happened in our church in Virginia last year. Some people will steal the fillings out of your teeth. Its awful but that is the way the world is going. Lock the gifts up in a windowless room not right near the door. Don’t tell anyone where
    they are. Better yet, let the pastor take them home to his place for safe keeping

  • Hondo Pantuzzo

    Bet it was feral blacks who did this.
    This has their MO written all over it.

  • Walter

    Must be OWS’ers, who have decided to “redistribute the wealth” from the needy to themselves. The teddy bears are probably being molested.

  • JeddMcHead

    ‘Tis the season, once again! Nothing brings out the best (or worst) in people like Christmas.

    There’s a special place in hell for these thieves! I hope they get to enjoy it soon.

  • steve

    Clearly someone who steals from the “needy” is “needier” than them.

  • Dan Rakow

    I pray those suspect be bought to justice and return the Gifts back to St. Stephen’s lutheran in Antioch.

    • Stephen

      Pray for the thieves instead that they would see the they need Christ and see the weight of their own iniquity.

  • HPS

    I hope that the thief’s NEEDED the gifts they took..more than those they were intended for.. seems it all came out fine since people stepped up to the plate to replace them.. I am confused as to WHY the presents were going out on the 9th of DECEMBER.. CHRISTMAS is the 25th is it not? and I do hope the CHURCH was giving the gifts to the parents to leave under the tree so the kids have something to open Christmas morning.. Nothing worse than being a parent with nothing to leave under the tree for your little ones.. Which is why I can’t stand to watch every year when the POLITICIANS and so called COMMUNITY GROUPS get together and hand out presents 3 weeks before Christmas to needy kids like they are some kind of saints and there is nothing under the tree for these same kids and they don’t care as long as they have a good photo opt and tax write off.. and BTW notice the politicians who do this .. the kids 9 out of 10 times are NOT white APPARENTLY we don’t have poor .. needy .. white kids..

  • Joe

    The toys were probably going to the thieves’ kids anyway…..

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