Christmas presents destined for homeless people in Doncaster have been stolen by thieves.
Gifts that were due to be given out at the Saint Peter-in-Chains annual Christmas party were stolen from the home of a volunteer just weeks before the event.
Organisers now fear the Christmas Day event could be ruined if they are not able to replace the 45 gifts, containing toiletries, gloves, hats and scarves, in time.
Matthew Wilkinson and his wife Steph were on holiday in Edinburgh when they received a call from the police to say neighbours had reported their car being stolen from their driveway.
After returning four days early from the trip the couple were devastated to find the thieves had also taken Christmas presents from inside the house.
Matthew Wilkinson said: “The people responsible have stolen from people who have nothing. This was just one small thing to brighten up their Christmas and this has ruined that.
“We had taken the presents to our house to wrap up and we are devastated that someone has taken them.
“They broke into the house to steal the car keys and must have seen the presents in the hall as we had put them there ready to take to the church.”
Mr Wilkinson’s car has since been recovered by police but the presents are still missing.
One of the party organiser’s George Carr said: “The monetary value of these presents won’t be a great deal but it’s something we do every year and it means a lot to the homeless people who come along to the party, these people have nothing and this was a token to bring a bit of festive cheer.
“I don’t think the thieves will even realise who the gifts were intended for until they open them, I’m just hoping whoever is responsible may read this and it may prick their conscience and they will return the presents.”
The Christmas presents were due to be given out as part of an annual Christmas party for homeless people at St Peter in Chain’s Church in Chequer Road.
Organisers who also provide a three-course meal at the party are hoping if the gifts are not returned residents will rally round and help replace them.
Mr Carr said: “We are hopeful people may dig deep and help us out whether it be with monetary donations to replace some of the gifts or presents.”
A spokesman for South Yorkshire police said investigations into the incident are continuing.
People who want to donate can leave gifts or money at the Priests house building behind St Peter in Chains Church between 10am and 4pm.