BANDENBURG, KY (WAVE) - A Meade County mom is accused of trying to return presents bought for her children by a Police Union's annual charity program.
"She took Christmas away from the children...there's no doubt about that," said Meade County Sheriff William Kerrick said Monday.
Surveillance video obtained shows 28-year-old Amanda Beard returning more than $100 in presents bought for four children.
Those kids were each hand-picked for the Fraternal Order of Police annual Shop with a Cop charity program for needy families.
They each got $150 worth of toys and clothes on December 11 at the Cox's Variety Store and the Pamida Hometown Values store, in Brandenburg.
"It's just like robbing the Salvation Army," Kerrick said. "Taking away from somewhere where the needy needs it. I think that Ms. Beard - she should be held accountable, even though it's her children."
Investigators say Beard tried to return more than $100 worth of gifts for cash, then went to one of Cox's Louisville locations and tried to return another $66 in merchandise.
Kerrick says Beard admitted to returning the gifts, but said she did it to buy other gifts her children needed.
"However, we weren't able to be provided with any of the receipts to that claim that she did," Kerrick said.
Paulette Collins, a Brandenburg resident and mother of two, couldn't believe a mom would steal from her own kids.
"That's awful," Collins said. "I mean how could you do that to your kids at Christmas time? I know my kids would be so disappointed."
"These ladies and gentleman with the F.O.P worked hard throughout the year," Kerrick said. "[They]" worked diligently to get this money up, and then to see that this money was taken back - it's very disheartening."
"They had an opportunity to have Christmas and she took it away from them," Collins said. "That's really sad. It makes me angry that somebody would do something like that because there's so many kids that don't have anything."
Collins likened Beard's actions to that of the famous animated Dr. Seuss character from "The Grinch who stole Christmas."
We stopped by Beard's Brandenburg home to try and get her side of the story, but there was no answer. The police report says two of the fathers stated their children were not needy.
The police report also stated that Beard has been deceptive on prior occasions for food stamps and assisted living expenses.