SAN JOSE (KPIX 5)– As the faithful pray for the birth of Jesus at Our Lady of Guadalupe in San Jose, they will also be praying for the two people caught on camera stealing money meant to buy toys for children in need.
The theft happened Saturday afternoon. “After I finished the baptisms, two individuals came from the back door and they stole the donation box,” Father Gerardo Menchaca told KPIX 5.READ MORE: Oakland City Council Votes to Defund Police, Stripping More Than $17M from Department Budget
Clad in hoodies and sunglasses, the couple, who appear to be a man and a woman, walked past the glowing intention candles and walk away with the donation box. They walked the stolen cash right past another woman coming into the church on East San Antonio.
“They need God in their lives and they are clearly wrong in the head,” said parish volunteer Alberto Zaragoza.READ MORE: 165 Pounds Of Fireworks Seized, Man Arrested In Oakland Crackdown
The cash–nearly $3,000 in total–was meant for toys for the poor children of this parish. The gifts were to be distributed on Jan. 6, the Catholic Feast of the Three Kings, so the parish could get a better price on toys.
“After Mass, we invite the families, especially those who cannot afford buying gifts for the children. Usually we do it at the kiosk area, so we distribute the gifts. There will be many of them,” said Father Gerardo.MORE NEWS: Menlo Park Fire Chief: Time Is Short in Search for Survivors of Florida Condo Collapse
A GoFundMe account has been set up to replace the stolen cash. As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, over $8,000 was raised, more than double the amount stolen.