MEXICO — Police are looking for one or more people who broke into the Free Store sometime between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning and stole more than $500 in new clothing meant for the annual Santa's Helpers project.
Mexico police Sgt. Roy Hodsdon said the Free Store's manager, Margaret McNeil, reported at 8 a.m. that someone had forced open the door to the basement by breaking the lock, then broke the lock to an upstairs door where new clothing for infants through adults is gathered and stored until the annual Christmas event.
A volunteer made the discovery then reported the theft to McNeil.
Santa's Helpers, originally begun by Dot Sanchas many years ago, gathers funding for new item purchases, and toys for families in the Rumford area who are in need. Dozens of families in the area benefit from the annual event and many organizations and individuals donate items. Santa's Helpers is run by volunteers.
The Free Store also provides used clothing, household and other items at no cost to anyone who wants to take advantage of the service.
Anyone who may have seen any unusual activity around the Roxbury Road Free Store on Tuesday night is asked to contact the Police Department at 364-5686.
Hodsdon said he has leads in the case.