Holiday donation box stolen from San Jose church

Bay Area

SAN JOSE (KRON) — “Two individuals came from the back door and the stole the donation box. The money that we were saving is to buy the gifts for children in our community.”

Now the children who attend Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Jose will have to go without toys during the annual Three Kings celebration due to a pair of thieves who stole the collection box.

The incident happened Saturday, Dec. 19 just before 3 p.m.

Father Gerado Manchaca said he had just finished a baptism ceremony when what appears to be a man and a woman stole the money.

“Then yesterday, I found out they also broke into another donation box underneath the crucifix inside the church,” Menchaca said. “All the money that we get for the sales of candles goes to buy gifts for the children.”

Some church members find it hard to believe thieves would target a church, raising money for children during the holiday season.

“This is the season of giving and for somebody to hit the church like that is the lowest of the low,” Corie Nguyen said.

“There’s a lot of needy kids and a lot of homeless families that live in trailers, live on the street, live in parks, live in the creeks that come here to get toys,” George Contreras said.

Father Menchaca said there is still time for these two people to redeem themselves.

“I’m inviting the community to pray for these two individuals. I hope and pray that they will listen to this message,” he said. “My hope is that they will repent which goes with the spirit of christmas, a conversion of heart, change of heart and hopefully they will return the money.”

The church estimates the two thieves got away with between $2-3,000. The church’s annual Three Kings event takes place on Monday, Jan. 6.

There is still time for the two suspects to experience a change of heart as Father Manchaca said and return the money in the donation box.

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