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Burglars Steal 200 Christmas Presents for Needy Children

December 17, 1985

SEATTLE (AP) _ Two hundred Christmas presents for low-income, inner-city children, and equipment worth about $3,000, were taken by burglars from Union Gospel Mission’s youth services center, authorities said.

″This type of burglary has never happened to us since I’ve been at the mission,″ mission director Steve Burger said Monday. ″It’s hard for me to understand why somebody would take such gifts, particularly when most are valued at under $5.″

The presents, about half the 400 gifts to be distributed during neighborhood parties this week, were taken early Monday along with a small computer, a telephone answering machine and a video camera, Burger said. ″Just when we thought we had our act together, somebody did us in,″ he said.

The burglars broke in through a first-floor window, and the presents were taken from a locked room upstairs, he said.

Youth services director Gerry Autry estimated the loss of electronic gear alone at $3,000. Also taken were toys, teddy bears, clothes and other treats for children from first grade through junior high school.

″The gifts which were taken are all that many low-income, inner-city kids will receive this Christmas, and we have nothing with which to replace them,″ Autry said.

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