GRESHAM, Ore. — A local non-profit is scrambling after thieves targeted one of its biggest fundraisers.
"I was at a loss for words," said Mike Odell.
Odell is with Pacific Northwest Adult & Teen Challenge. The non-profit helps people suffering from addiction and life-controlling issues. To say the nonprofit depends on its annual Christmas tree sales would be an understatement.
"All the money we make from the Christmas trees goes straight back into our program," said Odell. "It helps us pay for gas for our vehicles and helps us keep the lights on."
Between 8 p.m. Monday and 11 a.m. Tuesday, somebody broke into the tree lot, in front of the Family Worship Center on West Powell, and stole more than 90 trees. A table, chairs, a tent, and dozens of extension cords were also taken. The stolen goods are worth more than $5,000.
"This is just devastating for our ministry," said Odell. "Not sure what we're going to do."
Making matters even worse, a van and trailer belonging to the Family Worship Center were also stolen. Grainy surveillance video obtained by KGW shows the crime unfolding.
"There was a lot of anger at first," said Odell. "There's nothing we can do about it now."
Odell is frustrated, but he is also compassionate. He had a message for the thieves.
"We just want you to know we forgive you ... we love you."
The stolen van is a 2002 Ford Econoline E350. It has an Oregon license plate 643 DPM. Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the Gresham Police Department.
If you would like to help Pacific Northwest Adult & Teen Challenge you can do so by visiting their Christmas tree lot or their website and making a donation.