CARMI, Ill. (WEHT) — After a recent theft in White County, one burglar might wake up to lumps of coal in their stocking this Christmas.

The Carmi Police Department says an investigation was opened after the Carmi Christmas Elves were burglarized. According to police, an unknown suspect stole thousands of dollars worth of new boots and shoes from the group sometime between November 1 and 5.

The Carmi Christmas Elves had planned on giving the shoes to veterans and children in need throughout the county, but those plans began to seem unlikely.

Fortunately, Shoe Sensation and other local groups spent an entire day buying shoes from surrounding stores’ shelves to make sure the Elves’ event still happened in Norris City.

“Thank you to all of our elves and volunteers that came and helped us today!!” shared Carmi Christmas Elves on social media. “We’re almost halfway there putting up lights!!”

Police say the boots and shoes stolen consisted of Converse, Fila, Under Armor, Thorogood, Wolverine and other brands.

If you have any information on this burglary, you’re asked to contact Carmi Police Department at 618-382-4633 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-637-3577. A $500 Crime Stoppers reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.