Criminals do not take a break just because the holidays have arrived. In fact, crimes such as robbery and personal larceny increase by twenty percent during the last month of the year, according to a report from the National Crime Victimization Survey.

State Police are investigating an incident in Richfield Springs in which an individual stole grocery gift cards for people in need from a church last week. Officials say, Troopers were dispatched to the Church of Christ Uniting in the Village of Richfield Springs after it was reported someone took over $2,500 worth of Price Chopper gift cards.

State Police believe the gift cards, which were to be distributed by the church and local food pantry, were stolen sometime around December 1st. Police say church members noticed that an emergency exit door had been pried open, but they're uncertain if that's how the thief entered the church.

State Police are asking anyone who may have been near the Church of Christ Uniting or in the area of Church Street on or about December 1st who saw something suspicious to contact them at (607) 561-7400. State Police also ask if anyone knows someone who was attempting to sell Price Chopper gift cards to contact them as well. You can use case Reference Number 9956069.

It's important as we go into the holiday season to stay especially vigilant in securing personal belongings whether they be in cars, on your porch or even inside your home. If you see any crime being committed at any time you can possibly receive a cash reward by anonymously reporting those crimes to Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers.

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