Target makes holidays happy again ‘Elves’ bring sweet surprise after Grinch steals Tacoma woman’s Christmas tree


As Tacoma Police search for a real life Grinch seen on surveillance camera stealing a box containing Alex Brain’s new Christmas tree, the community is stepping up make sure she has a happy holiday. Brain had ordered the 6-foot tree from Target. She was on her way home from work when the thief stole the package right off her porch on Nov. 27. When AJ Deloye with Target Asset Protection saw the video, he asked one question: “How can we make that right? We just wanted the lady to have a great Christmas. That’s the biggest thing we’re about at Target – reaching out to the community and when we saw a Christmas tree went missing, what’s the easiest thing we can do for her? Just replace it.”

They didn’t stop there. Target Asset Protection store manager Britney Mitchell also picked out ornaments, a tree skirt, topper and decorations. “We would drop everything in a heartbeat to make sure someone has a great holiday,” she said.

It was a good warm up for their annual Heroes and Helpers event at the Target store on South 23rd Street. Throughout the year, Tacoma Police officers have money deducted from their paychecks and that money is used to buy Target gift cards. On Saturday, officers will escort 105 kids on a Christmas shopping spree with help from Target employees, a grant from the company and other local organizations.

“They come and they shop for their families and then we wrap everything up and make sure that they have a great experience. It shows the level of engagement that we have with our community and how much we truly care,” said Mitchell.

Wednesday evening, I surprised Alex with her new 6-foot pre-lit tree, the decorations and a box of electric candles that my wife wrapped. While Tacoma Police continue to search for the suspect, Brain says this is a Christmas she will always remember. “It’s not gonna be because, ‘Oh, I had my tree stolen.’ It’s going to be because of how the community has come together.”

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