Local News

Officials Look For Real-Life Grinch In Durham

Posted December 17, 2002 3:56 a.m. EST

— Officials are investigating two separate break-ins at the Durham Meals on Wheels office.

Staff members say someone climbed on air conditioning units Sunday at Northgate Presbyterian Church to get through the top of a window. When inside, staff members said they tore through packages, gift items, toiletries and nonperishable foods that were intended for elderly shut-ins.

Staff members said another break-in took place sometime Monday night. This time, nothing was taken, but there was a mess.

"We were shocked that the checkbook wasn't bothered. The computers weren't bothered. None of the expensive items were touched, bothered or trashed," said Patty Powell, of Durham Meals on Wheels.

Staff and volunteers are now trying to buy more gifts, repackage them and get them to those they serve by Friday.

"I can't believe anybody would be so mean as to do that. When you see the people that you're taking meals to, it just breaks your heart that people would take their presents away from them," volunteer Marie Grauerholz said.

Staff members are also looking for ways they can better secure their office, so a third break-in does not occur.