Long Island News
Charity robbed of Christmas gift cards for poor
NEW YORK (WABC) -- A mission on Long Island was robbed Sunday night or early Monday morning and the thieves got away with hundreds in donations.
The office of the Lighthouse Mission was a mess when people arrived Sunday morning.
Thieves had broken into the building sometime overnight.
They made off with $600 in cash and gift cards to Wal-Mart and Toys R Us.
"It's really disheartening to find on Sunday morning when you open up your facility to find that people have robbed you of something we would have given to them anyway," said Pastor James Ryan, of the Lighthouse Mission.
Pastor James Ryan says everyone knew something was wrong when they saw this smashed window.
Ryan says it appears the suspects used a shovel to break open the steel safe.
What they stole inside, the cash and gift cards, was all donated.
In addition to the mission's food pantry supply, they were going to help some 3,000 local families this holiday season.
"It's a shame that people want to do that, I understand that times are hard, but they're taking away from the people who we do help every week," said Sophonia Goode, a volunteer.
Once the thieves got into the building they broke the door to the main office and then found the safe.
"Police say they did get some DNA from the people who broke in. We've already forgiven them. I would love to be able to talk to them and explain to them the true meaning of Christmas," Pastor James Ryan said.
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