Grinches steal money meant to buy children's Christmas gifts

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Over the course of about a week starting after Thanksgiving a string of burglaries has reportedly broken out across four counties -- Howell, Ozark and Oregon counties in Missouri and in Fulton County in Arkansas.

It was on Dec. 7 that someone broke into the Out of the Way Cafe in Mammoth Spring and stole a jar of money which was meant to be donated to the Shop with a Cop program to help needy kids in the area have a merry Christmas.

Tina Miano, the owner of the restaurant, said to KY3 News, "Kids shouldn't have to suffer because times are tough on Christmas; times are already hard for them, or they wouldn't be on the list."

The same night burglars tried to break into the Palace Drug Store, but according to Mayor Jean Pace and Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger an alarm went off and scared off whoever was breaking into the building.

Dillinger said this past weekend several businesses in the Salem area were broken into as well. Orr Lumber, Black Jack Feed Store and Triple K had items stolen from them that include an air compressor, 12 gauge shot gun, 100 feet of air hose and 20 pairs of roping gloves.

"They walked by stuff that was worth a lot more money," Dillinger said.

Thayer Police Chief David Bailey said one place that was broken into during the same timeframe as some of the other burglaries was a photo shop on Chestnut Street. Burglars stole some camera equipment.

They also stole 11 flashlights and a chainsaw from the Mills Feed Store and two chainsaws from the South County Shed, according to Oregon County Sheriff George Underwood.

Underwood said it's not uncommon for burglaries to spring up around the holidays. "Really, I think overall we've been very fortunate compared to other areas," Underwood said.

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