Stolen gifts delivered to Franklin County families in need

GREENE TOWNSHIP FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. -- Traditionally, the holidays are a season of giving, but Pennsylvania State Police charged a Franklin County woman for taking Christmas presents meant for others, and keeping them for herself.

A Grinch may have stolen Christmas , but Santa's helpers and the Pennsylvania State Police found a way to get it back.

The Christmas Project is a group of volunteers organized by Kathy Hewitt to bring presents to those in need. One woman who volunteered, offered to make deliveries to about two dozen families.

The Christmas Project 2017 Kathy Hewitt said "I got a message saying that she had gotten ill, and was in the hospital, but her friends went ahead and delivered everything, all the gifts, for where they were supposed to go. So, I called some of the families."

Chambersburg resident Theresa McLinden was supposed to be the recipient of some of those gifts. "I hesitated for a second. I was like "no," was I supposed to? And then that's when she said, yeah, you were supposed to get them today. And I was like no, we didn't receive them," McLinden  said.

"None of them had gotten anything," Hewitt said.

Since one holiday helper allegedly helped herself to gifts meant for others, Hewitt didn't need to tell Santa who was naughty or nice. Instead, she called the Pennsylvania State Police.

"They showed up and i gave them the report, by an hour later they were knocking on my door that they had found her and were able to recuperate all of the toys and all of the gift cards," Hewitt said.

The woman put in charge of making those deliveries, Kathy Wright, is now charged with doing something wrong, theft by unlawful taking.

"I think it's terrible, i don't know how someone could steal presents from someone, especially children," McLinden  said.

Now that the stolen presents have been recovered, the holiday project is wrapping up for the second time. Volunteers are making another attempt to bring joy to people like McLinden and her two sons this Christmas.

"Well, they can have a nice Christmas. It saves me from the wrapping too," McLinden  said.

"I thought Christmas had been snatched from these 22 families, and now it's been restored, thanks to the Carlisle Barracks of the State Police. Those guys single-handedly saved Christmas," Hewitt said.