Every toy donated to the Salvation Army’s Stan Hagen Centre for Families is handled with care.

“We need everything that we’ve got,” said Pat Humble with the Salvation Army of B.C.

However, nothing could prepare staff for a heartless act that took place this week.

“Stealing toys from a truck is a terrible thing,” said Humble.

Officers were called Wednesday to the building on the 2600-block of Quadra after a staff member returned to find a company vehicle had been broken in to.

10 bags of donated children’s toys were stolen.

“We think it could have been worth $3,000 to $4,000,” said Patricia Mamic wit the Salvation Army B.C.. “It’s hard to tell what toys were brought in through those packages.”

Every year, the centre collects and distributes Christmas presents to 1,800 families, but now they are at a loss.

“We’ve been praying for lots to come in and to have some of that taken away will definitely leave an effect,” Humble explained.

With less than two weeks until Christmas, the organization is renewing their call for donations.

“We’ll make sure that everyone who comes through our doors will go away with something,” Mamic said. “We will do the best we can to help all those people that we help out every year.”

Victoria police are asking for the public’s help in finding a suspect.

“This person is a real-life Grinch,” said Matthew Rutherford with the Victoria Police Department. “This is a time of year when people don’t have a lot of money and need some extra help so it’s not a nice feeling.”

The incident is still under investigation, anyone with information is asked to contact Victoria police at 250-995-7654 or Crimestoppers.

Ceilidh Millar