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BENICIA (KPIX 5) – Police in Benicia are searching for a man who stole Christmas presents meant for patients at Children’s Hospital during a series of car burglaries Monday morning.
According to police, the man broke into three cars sometime between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. One of the burglaries was caught on surveillance video.
“In one of the videos that we released, you can actually see him putting pressure on the pry tool, and leaning into the window and snapping the window,” Benicia Police Lt. Frank Hartig Jr. told KPIX 5.
One of the cars busted into belonged to Marci Moriarty, an oncology nurse at Children’s Hospital Oakland. Moriarty said she had $1,500 worth of gifts for sick children and their families when the break-in took place.
Police said some of the stolen items included toys, a skateboard, gift cards and clothing.
“They would have had to either climb in the window or open the door and come in, because the presents were full into the back and so there’s no way they could’ve just reached and grabbed them,” Moriarty said.
The nurse and her friends have brought Christmas presents for families at Children’s Hospital for years. Moriarty said she should not have packed her car the night before, but thought her neighborhood was safe.
“To see all the presents gone, I was just crushed and shocked and devastated,” she said.
According to authorities, the man spotted in the video was at seen a Target store in Vallejo using a gift card presumably stolen from the break-in.
“Technology is just a great thing for us nowadays. It could be detrimental to the criminals, but that’s ok with us,” Hartig said.
With help from the Benicia Police Department and the Benicia Fire Department, Moriarty was able to replace the stolen gifts.
Anyone with information in this case is asked to contact the police department at (707) 745-3412. Tips can also be left anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at (707) 644-7867.
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