ST. CHARLES — There's nothing great about whoever sneaked through the pumpkin patch at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church late Monday night.
St. Charles police are investigating the theft of a donation box from the Youth Group Pumpkin Patch, which apparently occurred sometime late Monday night or early Tuesday.
According to Father Tim Biren, pastor at St. Charles Borromeo, someone stole the locked money post from the pumpkin patch, which is a fundraiser for the church's youth group. The pumpkins, gourds and squash for sale at the pumpkin patch are sold on the honor system. Prices for items are marked, and people are asked to donate their money into the donation post for items bought.
"We emptied it Monday evening," Biren said. "The worst part is probably not the money inside, but the post, which cost about $150."
Biren said the church has a second post, and has secured it better so it won't be taken.
The pumpkins, squash and gourds are donated to the youth group from a local farm, and the youth of the church rotate the product, help people with their purchases, and generally run the operation as a fundraiser for youth programs at the church.
Biren said if anyone is that much in need, they can come to the church and see if the church can offer them something.
"If anyone needs assistance in the community, they can come to us," he said.
But in spite of his charity, Biren said he'd like to find out who did this so they can get the post back.
To that end, St. Charles Police Chief Ken Frank said the police are reviewing a video for evidence. He'd also like someone — maybe the thief or thieves themselves — to step forward.
"Give us a call if anyone knows anything at all," Frank said. "There is even a reward available through CrimeStoppers."
Both Frank and Biren said the biggest problem is how this impacts the youth in the church community.
"The frustrating thing for me is not the post," Biren said. "The kids operate this. I take offense that they did this against our young people."