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Man charged with stealing Christmas gifts

Dec. 22, 2012 at 11:30 AM

RIVERSIDE, Ill., Dec. 22 (UPI) -- An Illinois man was arrested for allegedly stealing credit cards and presents, and then giving the gifts to his own friends and family, police said.

Gregory G. Cook, 42 was arrested Wednesday after police staked out his home for 10 hours, the Chicago Tribune reported.

During a search of Cook's home, police found re-wrapped Christmas presents, Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said in a news release.

"This is the first time in my 27 years in law enforcement that I have come across a case in which a burglary suspect had stolen property from a home repackaged, re-wrapped with the intent to deliver them as new Christmas gifts to family and friends," Weitzel said.

He said Cook burglarized a home in Riverside Dec. 6, and then hit another home Dec. 12. Cook allegedly took credit cards during both robberies, using them to buy items at Home Depot, and then exchanged some items for cash, which he allegedly used to purchase items at Victoria's Secret.

Cook was identified through surveillance video footage of him returning some of the stolen items, Weitzel said.

He was charged with two counts of residential burglary and was ordered held in lieu of $200,000.

His next court date is scheduled for Dec. 24.

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