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A Durham church is reeling after a cold-hearted thief stole a bag full of Christmas presents set aside for children in need. Now, help is needed to find the suspect and replace those gifts.

The thief was brazen enough to come in during last Sunday’s service at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church downtown. The thief took what was already set aside for children who had been picked as “in need of a Christmas” by Durham Social Services.

“These were gifts we bought to create a Christmas gift for someone else–or to have a Christmas wish come true for a child,” said Rev. Jonah Kendall.

Kendall said that as a man of faith, he is working on forgiving the thief, but said, “At the same time, we feel very saddened because the gifts were collected for people in a very difficult situation.”

He said someone inside the church saw the man fleeing with the presents, but was not able to get a detailed description.

Dozens of gifts were donated by the church’s large congregation Sunday, but the rush is on to replace the ones that were lost. Each box was assigned to a child that asked for that specific gift.

If you are interested in helping the church replace some of those items, you can call them at 919-682-5708, or stop by their office at 403 East Main Street, Durham. via

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