Despite reports from the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office that half of the items stolen from a warehouse in February for a Christmas charity have been returned, the founder of the charity said Monday afternoon that such is not the case.
Mary Perez, the Martinez woman who founded Christmas for Everyone, said only about $2,000 worth of items stolen in February have been returned. Christmas for Everyone is an annual event, including a big Christmas dinner in Concord, that offers free food, presents, clothing and haircuts to thousands of people every year, including the working poor.
The sheriff's office said Monday that a second suspect had been arrested in the burglary. Fifty-five-year-old Frank Mireles was arrested Saturday at his Morello Avenue home, and Jason Crites, 38, was arrested Friday on Via Del Flores. Both Martinez residents are in county jail on suspicion of burglary.
Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said Monday that more than half of the items stolen had been returned to Perez. But Perez said Monday that the charity was a long way from recovering from the devastating crime.
She said she would be in court Tuesday, when both men are expected to appear.
Both suspects have Facebook pages. Mireles' page lists his job as "self-employed and loving it."
Perez suggests that anyone willing to help can donate goods to the Martinez warehouse or contribute money through the Christmas for Everyone website.