Thief steals donated toys

Published 2:07 pm Friday, December 5, 2008

A nasty Grinch has stolen Christmas from some of the children in Suffolk who need it most.

About 70 brand-new, donated gifts were stolen from the Toys for Tots warehouse in Suffolk between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, said John Woleben, the Toys for Tots coordinator for Suffolk and Portsmouth.

The thieves took six bicycles, 20 MP3 players, 24 digital cameras, 20 men’s watch gift sets, and a necklace gift set, Woleben said. He fears finding more toys missing when he re-inventories the warehouse.

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“Unfortunately, these are gifts for older kids, and that’s where we have the biggest concern,” Woleben said. “We never seem to have enough gifts for older children, and that’s what they took.”

Woleben has put new locks on all entrances to the building, and increased other security measures.

“It’s a sad state of affairs when someone will steal from children in need,” Woleben said.

Police took information and fingerprints from the scene, hoping to catch the criminal, Woleben said. They also have a lead on an unusual vehicle, which the owner of the building spotted parked near it over the weekend.

“It may be a sign of the economic times, and also the time of year,” Woleben said. “But this time of the year is a time people should be giving, not taking away from people.”