Update: Toys for Tots donations taken in Smithfield have been returned
Update: The toys taken from Smithfield have been returned. Smithfield police tell NewsChannel 3 that the women called police after seeing the story on TV. Police believe the act was due to a miscommunication and that there was no criminal intent. The women will not be facing any charges.
“I want to thank the Smithfield Police Department, Fire Department and NewsChannel 3 for all the efforts getting the word out and because of that something good happened,” explained Toys for Tots Area Coordinator Elizabeth Moose.
Smithfield, Va. – With just days left before Christmas, Toys for Tots volunteers in Isle of Wight are hard at work making sure those without have a little something under the tree. But Monday morning, Smithfield Police say someone took advantage of their good will.
When the area’s coordinator, Elizabeth Moose went to pick up donations at the Smithfield Volunteer Fire Department an entire box was missing.
“Absolute horror,” Moose says. “It takes the wind right out of your sail.”
Police say two women in a blue minivan, one who used a red walker, came by the fire station pretending to be Toys for Tots volunteers.
“Grinch,” Moose says. “Just taking the joy out of everything we’ve done.”
That box, Elizabeth says, had big ticket gifts.
“Quality toys,” she says. “The ones that would’ve been their big toy that they got. Now what we have are…”
Black trash bags filled with toys were laid out, ready to be picked up by families Monday night. However, with so many kids on the list, Elizabeth worries some children will be left out.
“We’re pretty much out of toys with the exception of what just came in here,” she says.
Elizabeth says Monday’s theft may not be the first; she believes toys from other boxes in the area were also stolen.
With the donations dwindling, she wants the thieves to realize who will suffer in the end.
“They need to know that when they hear about children that don’t have anything for Christmas, especially in our area, it’s their fault,” Elizabeth says.
If you have any information about the thefts, call the Crimeline at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.