Grinch stealing Christmas gifts left for trash collectors

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – It’s an age old tradition to leave something for the trash collector every year. People leave gift cards, cash, and sometimes baked goods.

Authorities in west St. Louis County are warning residents that they’re investigating a string of thefts targeting gifts for trash collectors.

“I’m disappointed. I’m like, who’s the Grinch out there? I hope he brings all their presents back,” said Julie Abeln, who lives on the street where the trash collector gift thefts were first reported. “That’s terrible. We definitely want the people that are deserving of these gifts to receive the gifts and to understand the gratitude, especially this time of year.”

Chesterfield police tweeted, “Watch for older red car with 1 headlight (possibly an Olds Alero). Driver was stealing gifts left for trash men on Bluffview Ridge by Wild Horse Creek.”

Chesterfield Police Sgt. Keith Rider said officers have not caught the thieves in the act.

“Be aware if (people) see this vehicle, we want to get this person,” he said.

Rider described one past suspect who had several gift cards and other items things.

“And this person was a former trash man as well,” Rider said.

That was years ago. But Rider said people report similar thefts every holiday season.

Sgt. Rider recommended giving gifts to trash collectors face-to-face or delivering it to the business headquarters.