Findlay police looking for men who stole "Angel Tree" from area Walmart

FINDLAY, Ohio (WTVG) - It almost plays out like the scene from Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

"I don't know why somebody would steal a crazy, little tree," said Major Dianna Morales of the Salvation Army of Hancock County.

Early Sunday morning Findlay police say two men walked into the Tiffin Avenue Walmart and stole a Salvation Army "Angel Tree."

"I don't know if it was a prank or if they really needed a tree--they should have asked, but what do ya' do?," said Morales.

The six-foot tall tree held special tags with the names of kids in need and the gifts they hope to get on Christmas Day. Morales says many of the ornaments either went with the tree or fell off in the heist.

"We don't know what tags might have disappeared or ended up trampled on in the parking lot or blew away or whatever," said Morales. "So we don't know which kids were not on the tree."

To make matters worse Morales says her crew will now likely be forced to give generic gifts to families without the tags.

"We just have to fill in with what we have," said Morales. "So they may not get the specific request that they may have."

As the Salvation Army scrambles to make sure Christmas goes right for the more than 300 families in need, Findlay police are trying to track down the crooks with security footage.

"They both leave together, go to a small white vehicle, and they load up the tree from there," said Lt. Ryan Doe with Findlay Police.

Doe says it's unclear at this point why the men snatched the tree, but hopes the public can help ID them.

"With the Christmas season upon us it is a very sad situation," said Doe.

In the meantime, Salvation Army leaders hope the remaining tags turn up so they can make Christmas bright for kids who would otherwise do without.

"If you have any of the tags, please just bring them back so that we know," said Morales.

If you have information on the stolen “Angel Tree” you're asked to call Findlay Police or Hancock County Crime Stoppers.

If you'd like to donate gifts to families in need you can drop those off at the Salvation Army on Center Street in Findlay.