Thief steals baby shower gifts

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Kris Kirschner/Eyewitness News

Shelbyville - A surprise baby shower turned into a shocking discovery when a thief stole the bundle of gifts for the new bundle of joy.

A mother of two, with one on the way, 22-year-old Brittina Renteria never had a baby shower. Until her twin sister, Tina, who's also expecting, decided to surprise her with one Sunday.

"She's excited she's having a girl," said Tina Hardebeck.

But what the expectant mothers didn't expect was someone stealing the bundle of gifts for the bundle of joy.

"Diapers, clothes, everything to take care of the baby," said Hardebeck. "They stole personal items, tools, the GPS."

Investigators say after 11:00 pm Sunday night, someone helped themselves to the gifts left in a truck behind Brittina's house.

"They got home late at night. They did not lock the car and suspects were able to open the door and take what they wanted," said Lt. Michael Turner, Shelbyville Police.

Police say the baby shower theft is one of five that took place the same night in the same area of Shelbyville. They also say they're looking into a string of similar break-ins to cars and businesses over the past several months.

"I think it's just a crime of opportunity," said Turner.

"I think it was very wrong and people who did it are low," said Hardebeck. "Not only to steal stuff from a woman who's expecting and doesn't have the money herself to replace the items, there are also items that were handmade, that cannot be replaced."

Police plan to step up patrols. Hardebeck hopes they can find the stolen gifts before her sister welcomes the new baby home.

Police say they found evidence they think will help them identify a suspect. Meantime, they are mapping out locations where the crimes took place.

Tina's sister, Brittina, went into premature labor and remains in the hospital..

A local church is taking donations for her and the baby. Drop off donations at the Fairland Baptist Church, 102 N. Meridian Street, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and Saturday from 8:00 am to noon. Contact Pastor John Alexander at 835-2019 with questions.