Toys for Tots volunteer eyed in gift thefts

Bangor Police Detective Tim Reid looks through some of the stolen toys that were recovered from a Patten Street home Wedensday.  The toys were alledgedly stolen from the Toys for Tots program by a person who volunteers there and who was selling them over the internet.  The value of the toys  will be be determined over the next day or two and early next week they will be returned to the Toys for Tots program.  Police will try to find out if the theft happened over a several year period and it is expected that at least one person will be charged. (Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)
Gabor Degre | BDN
Bangor Police Detective Tim Reid looks through some of the stolen toys that were recovered from a Patten Street home Wedensday. The toys were alledgedly stolen from the Toys for Tots program by a person who volunteers there and who was selling them over the internet. The value of the toys will be be determined over the next day or two and early next week they will be returned to the Toys for Tots program. Police will try to find out if the theft happened over a several year period and it is expected that at least one person will be charged. (Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)
By Eric Russell, BDN Staff
Posted Dec. 08, 2010, at 1:51 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Police recovered a cache of toys Wednesday from a residence on Patten Street that were stolen from the annual holiday Toys for Tots program.

Lt. Tim Reid, head of the Bangor Police Department’s investigative division, said charges are expected and the person they believe is responsible for the thefts was a recent volunteer for Toys for Tots. Additional information about the suspect is being withheld until the investigation is complete.

Earlier this week, police received a tip that several donated toys were missing from the local Toys for Tots drop-off area, including many that were dropped off by members of the Bangor Fire Department.

Bangor police Detectives Tim Cotton and Brent Beaulieu responded to a subsequent tip that a Patten Street resident had several toys at his residence and that he was a Toys for Tots volunteer. Police went to the home on Wednesday and seized several thousand dollars’ worth of toys.

Shortly after 1 p.m., officers could been seen loading toys from the residence in a mobile police van to take back to the station for inventory. It wasn’t clear whether the resident or anyone else was there at the time.

Toys for Tots is a program run by the U.S. Marine Corps to which people donate toys that are distributed to children and families in need during the holiday season. Recently, the Toys for Tots branch in Bangor announced that donations were down this year, while the number of people seeking help has increased.

Last year, nearly 7,000 area children received toys through the program. So far this year, more than 3,000 gifts have been given.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/12/08/news/bangor/toys-for-tots-volunteer-eyed-in-gift-thefts/ printed on September 20, 2014