Police Arrest 2 'Grinches' for Allegedly Stealing Christmas Presents from Foster Children

Joseph Betancourt and Marie Bennett are accused of stealing gifts for children from a foster agency

Joseph Betancourt, Marie Bennett
Photo: Red Bluff Police Department

A California man and a woman are facing multiple charges after police say they stole Christmas gifts meant for foster children.

Joseph Betancourt, 24, and Marie Bennett, 40, were arrested on Friday in connection to a burglary at Children First Foster Family Agency office in Red Bluff, a city approximately 130 miles northwest of Sacramento, according to the Red Bluff Police Department.

Police said they were notified of the theft around 10:51 a.m. when staffers at the non-profit agency called about a burglary that occurred sometime during the night before, in which a large amount of toys set aside as Christmas gifts for foster children were stolen from the office.

An officer responded to the call and after reviewing video surveillance footage on scene, determined the suspects were coming and going from a residence next door, the release said.

According to authorities, the officer then located the suspects — identified as Betancourt and Bennett — inside the residence that matched video surveillance.

Betancourt and Bennett were arrested on the scene and later booked at the Tehama County Jail on charges of trespassing, conspiracy and burglary.

Stolen Toys
Recovered stolen toys. Red Bluff Police Department

Red Bluff Police Department was able to recover the stolen Christmas presents and posted a photo of the gifts on their Facebook. In the picture, the toys that were taken appear to include two large screen televisions, three fishing poles, a PlayStation 4 controller and several brand new sleeping bags.

“These ‘Grinches’ will not be stealing Christmas from the kids on our watch,” the Red Bluff Police Department wrote.

According to Tehama County Jail records, Betancourt and Bennett’s bail is currently set at $50,000 each.

It is not clear if Batancourt and Bennett have attorneys at this time.

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