Man Indicted On Charges He Stole Christmas Gifts

CINCINNATI (AP) - A Cincinnati man was indicted Friday on charges he broke into a church mission and stole 21 bags of Christmas gifts intended for poor families.

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Rural Daniel, 44, on one count each of receiving stolen property and breaking and entering. If convicted of both felonies, he could be sentenced to two years in prison.

He is jailed while awaiting arraignment on Thursday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

Daniel is accused of breaking into the Common Ground Ministries mission on Dec. 14 and stealing gifts that were intended for families in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, north of downtown Cincinnati. Daniel stole items including clothing, toys, cookware and a television set and sold some of them to patrons in taverns, police said.

He gave some of the stolen property to other people, several of whom called police when they learned of the theft at the mission, investigators said. Daniel told those people that the items were surplus from a company he worked for, police said.

The theft prompted an outpouring of charitable giving to replace the stolen gifts in time for Christmas.

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