AKRON, Ohio -- Police in Akron, Ohio say thieves signed up as volunteers for Toys for Tots, but ended up stealing thousands of gifts meant for kids, according to WJW.
“Right now, we have over 15,000 children in Summit County and the surrounding areas. It means a lot, for some of the kids, this is all they have,” said Traci Higgenbottom-Williams, director.
Williams has run the program in Akron for 20 years but what happened late Monday night is a first.
She says the thieves signed up as volunteers so they could steal thousands of toys.
“This is our first year we opened it up to volunteers; usually we have a small staff that does this. Around 10:40 at night, I noticed some things were gone that shouldn’t have been gone,” said Williams.
Surveillance cameras were rolling outside the First Faith Development Corporation on Easter Avenue as the men stole bags upon bags and even boxes of toys and took them out the back door.
“It tears me up. Because this process just doesn’t start in December. I start in January to make sure the kids get the best. 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. Makes me angry,” said Williams.
Williams says the loss is estimated at $5,000, but it's much more than money.
“Because you stole from kids who did nothing to you. They are innocent. They are our future and we are trying to help them, encourage them and be a blessing to them and you are robbing that from them,” said Williams.
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