Police say the cruel theft happened at the Newburgh Salvation Army on Van Ness Street on Friday at some point between 7:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The wrapped Christmas gifts had been donated for children and were in the reception room by the organization's main entrance.
The receptionist needed to use the bathroom and an unknown criminal or criminals entered the building and stole the gifts before the receptionist returned, police say.
Newburgh police tried to track the robber with a K9 dog, but the canine couldn't get a clear scent because of the high number of people going in and out of the building and touching the area around the missing gifts, authorities said.
Local police and the Salvation Army are asking for the public's help in finding out who took the presents. Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to contact the City of Newburgh Police Detective Division at (845) 561-3131.
Anyone looking to donate new unwrapped presents can drop off gifts for children under the age of 13 to the Salvation Army at 234 Van Ness St.