McLean County woman officially charged with stealing Christmas gifts

By WEEK Producer

December 27, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:22 AM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- A Bloomington woman was officially charged Thursday with theft by deception for allegedly stealing $2,500 dollars worth of presents from the WJBC Brotherhood Tree program.

Forty-eight-year-old Jodi Lee Wetzel allegedly posed as a Brotherhood Tree volunteer and stole the gifts instead of delivering them to needy families in the Twin Cities.

According to the Pantagraph, police say Wetzel signed up as a volunteer to deliver 220 presents and food baskets.

She gave a false name and telephone number and the theft wasn't discovered until intended recipients called to say they never received their gifts.

Bloomington Police Spokesman Dave White said that Wetzel let officers into her home and showed them where she had hidden 200 presents. They were found under tables, under the bed, in hampers and in the closets.

Her bond is set at $50,000 dollars.

She is scheduled to appear again in McLean County court on January 3.

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