Church trailer full donated gifts for charity stolen

- Pasco County deputies are investigating the theft of a church trailer filled with gifts and food that were meant for the needy on Christmas.

Investigators say sometime between 9 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m. Wednesday, someone took the trailer from Keystone Community Church off State Road 54 . The church had been collecting donations for the Tampa-based Metropolitan Ministries.

Pastor Gary Edwards says the trailer was hitched to a storage unit by a pad-locked chain, which appeared to be cut when the trailer was discovered missing.

​"We weren't hurt by this. Whoever took the trailer, we don't have anything against them. We just want the families to have food and toys for Christmas," said Edwards.

Deputies estimate the value of the trailer and donations to be nearly $5,000. They have not identified any suspects.

Metropolitan Ministries said they were already short nearly 6,000 toys to provide by Christmas morning and called the theft a setback.

The charity serves thousands of families from a holiday tent set up in downtown Tampa. Families register and can shop for presents and their Christmas meal, but they don't pay because everything is donated.

Donations are accepted at metromin.org. You can have your donations matched if you donate through Fill the Holiday Tent.

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