Bangor man indicted in Toys for Tots theft

Bangor Police Detective Tim Reid looks through some of the toys that were recovered from a Patten Street home that were allegedly stolen from the Toys for Tots program.
Gabor Degre | BDN
Bangor Police Detective Tim Reid looks through some of the toys that were recovered from a Patten Street home that were allegedly stolen from the Toys for Tots program.
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 26, 2011, at 3:32 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — A local man who confessed to stealing from the Toys for Tots program was indicted Wednesday by the Penobscot County grand jury.

James Nickerson, 57, of Bangor was indicted on charges of theft by unauthorized taking, a Class C crime, which is classified as the theft of something valued at less than $10,000.

His arraignment date has not been set.

After receiving a tip that several donated toys were missing from the local Toys for Tots dropoff area, Bangor police say they recovered a cache of toys on Dec. 8 from Nickerson’s Patten Street home.

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.

Nickerson, a Toys for Tots volunteer for the past three years, confessed to taking the toys and issued an apology in a Bangor Daily News interview published Dec. 10.

“All the items have been returned,” he said. “I am a good person. I have done much more good in my life than bad, especially when it comes to helping people in need.”

Nickerson, who has no criminal history, did not detail his financial circumstances but said that “greed” caused him to take the toys.

“To Skip and Amber Young [organizers of the local Toys for Tots affiliate] and the Tots crew, I know it’s only words, but it comes from my heart and soul. … I’m truly sorry,” he said in an emotional Dec. 9 interview at the BDN. “To my family, words can’t say how I feel about the mess I have caused for you all. Please remember that this was all my doing, and I hope people don’t judge you by my mistakes.”

If convicted, Nickerson faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. He also could be ordered to pay restitution if not all the toys were returned.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/01/26/news/bangor/bangor-man-indicted-in-toy-thefts/ printed on September 30, 2014