Police are investigating an incident in which thieves posed as volunteers and stole thousands of toys from Toys for Tots.
Traci Higgenbottom-Williams, director of Summit County Toys for Tots in Akron, Ohio, told WJW the organization opened up the drive to volunteers for the first time this year.
“It’s usually just a staff of two that does this,” she said. “About 10:40 (Monday night), I noticed some things were gone that shouldn’t have been gone.”
A toy drive was held Monday night. Surveillance camera footage shows men stealing bags and boxes of toys through the back door of the First Faith Development Corporation, where the toy drive was held. Williams said there were two people inside and two cars sitting outside, where the suspected thieves took the stolen toys.
“It tears me up because this process just doesn’t start in December. I start in January planning to make sure that the kids get the best,” Williams said. “I don’t give them anything I wouldn’t give my kids when they were small. So when you take from them, it hurts me. It makes me angry.”
According to Williams, this is the first time something like this happened in the 20 years she’s run the program.
Police estimate the loss is about $5,000 worth of toys, WJW reported.
Donations can be made to Summit County Toys for Tots at the organization’s website.