Thief steals holiday hams, turkeys intended for needy families

GRANITE FALLS, Wash. – The Grinch nearly stole Christmas from dozens of needy families in Snohomish County.

Employees at the Granite Falls Eagles club discovered the heartless theft of donations last weekend.

Police said the burglary happened sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning.

The small freezer behind the building used to be stuffed full of Christmas cheer until someone popped the lock and helped themselves.

“At the wrong time of year, it’s frustrating,” said club manager Bridget Paro.

Paro said the thieves likely kicked through the fence before breaking into the freezer.

“It is tragic when something like this happens,” said Granite Falls police chief Scott Robertson. “It affects all of us. It puts us in bad spirits in a time when we should be happy."

But after a few posts to social media, the donations began pouring in again.

“I just brought a ham and a turkey,” said Rick Godwin.

By Monday afternoon, the club said  it would be able to fulfill its promise to help neighbors in need.

“A couple of hours, we already had turkeys and hams pouring in,” Paro said. “I knew we’d get it taken care of.”

Police said they would pour over surveillance video to try to identify a suspect.

“We’ve been doing this for probably 20 years,” Paro said. “The families look forward to it, we look forward to helping out the families in need.”

Police said the suspects might have been spotted trying to sell the stolen meat. No arrests had made as of Monday afternoon.