It looks like the Grinch has arrived early this holiday season.
On Sunday morning, a customer stole a giant stuffed giraffe from Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse Restaurant in Langford – one meant to be a Christmas gift for children in Victoria General Hospital’s pediatric ward.
The restaurant’s owner and operator Claire Mackie caught the suspect on security camera and shared it to Mr. Mike’s Facebook page on Monday morning. The video shows a group of five leaving just before 12:30 a.m. on Sunday.
The last person out the door appears to grab the giraffe and quickly run out of the restaurant.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Mackie said. “We’re trying to put smiles on kids’ faces. There are people out there who try to make the holidays better and then there are those who try to ruin it.”
This is the third year Mr. Mike’s has held a ‘stuffie’ drive. Every year, they try to donate 100 stuffies for children who are stuck at the hospital over the holidays.
While Mackie hopes the five-foot-tall giraffe will be returned, she admits that, regardless, they won’t be able to donate the item.
“Since the item was taken out of our doors, we don’t know if the toy was exposed to chemicals, substances, or smoke,” Mackie said. “It could potentially harm the kids at the hospital who already have low immune systems. All we want is to give these kids the chance to at least feel like they’re at home on Christmas Day. It’s just hurtful.”
Mr. Mike’s is accepting donations for their stuffie drive until Sunday, Dec. 15. Customers who come in on that day can exchange their donation of a new stuffed animal or toy for a free appetizer.