Oregon Police Looking For Real-Life 'Grinch' Who Stole 140 Christmas Trees From Church

Police in Oregon said they are searching for a real-life "Grinch" who stole more than 100 Christmas trees from a church on Tuesday.

The 140 trees stolen from a church and non-profit on West Powell Boulevard in Gresham, Oregon, were worth $7,000, the Gresham Police Department said.

Police said the trees were intended to be sold to help young people in the Pacific Northwest Adult & Teen Challenge, a local program that helps people recover from drug and alcohol addiction.

The thief made off with the trees in a stolen van and flatbed trailer from the Family Worship Center. Police urged the community to be on the lookout for any "terrible drivers" with a trailer covered in Christmas trees.

"The Grinch made an early appearance this year," the Gresham Police Department wrote on Facebook in an appeal for help from the public after the theft. "Someone stole a van, flatbed trailer, and 140 Christmas trees from a local church and nonprofit on West Powell Blvd.

"We did not know the Grinch could drive anything but a sleigh, so watch for terrible drivers with a sleigh (or trailer) covered in trees. See attached suspect photo," the department added alongside an animated image of the Grinch.

The fictional character, created by Dr. Seuss, is known for hating Christmas and plots to ruin the holiday in the 1957 book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! as well as several films inspired by the book.

The post added: "In all seriousness though, these are $7000 worth of Christmas trees that were to be sold to help kids involved in the Pacific Northwest Adult and Teens Challenge. Help us get catch the Grinch!"

News of the theft sparked anger and sadness from the local community. "Even the Grinch isn't that mean," wrote one person in response to the police department's post.

"It's a very sad world we live in," one person commented. Another added: "How some people can stoop so low is unbelievable."

And another person added: "I hope you catch them soon. They deserve to be arrested. I hope the trees and trailer are returned too. Some people are unbelievable. Why would you steal from a church?"

The police department said the van is a white 2002 Ford Econoline E350 with a flatbed trailer and license plate 643DPM. Newsweek has contacted the church and police department for further comment.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged the call the Gresham Police Department's tip line at 503-618-2719.

christmas trees
Stock photo. Police in Oregon are searching for a real-life "Grinch" who stole 140 Christmas trees worth $7,000 from a church. Alfred Gescheidt/Getty Images