Two teenagers were arrested Saturday and charged with burglary after Christmas gifts stored at the Salvation Army’s temporary warehouse in Southeast Washington were stolen, police said.
Police are seeking three other teenagers in connection to the crime, said D.C. police Lt. Sean Conboy. Conboy said he was unable to provide an estimate of the value of the stolen goods.
The pilfered presents — including bicycles, Kindles and MP3 players — were intended for D.C.-area children in need and scheduled to be delivered to families on Thursday, said Salvation Army area spokesman Ken Forsythe.
“We will make sure that they will not ruin Christmas for the kids that these toys were earmarked for,” he said.
At around 9 a.m. Saturday, Salvation Army workers arrived at the seasonal warehouse at 3999 Eighth St. SE. They spotted two teenagers in the building and called the police.
The teenagers — one male and one female — were arrested nearby, and Salvation Army staffers began to go through the bags to see what had been stolen. They found that dozens of sealed bags had been rifled through and high-value items taken, mostly electronics.
Forsythe said that the Salvation Army will now pay for 24-hour security at the warehouse. Previously, security staff was present only during working hours.
The Salvation Army is accepting donations at salvationarmynca.org to help replace what was lost. The organization serves about 6,000 children in the D.C.-area during the Christmas season, Forsythe said.