FRAMINGHAM (CBS) – Toys for Tots is extending its deadline for donations to 6 p.m. Tuesday after $15,000 worth of toys were stolen from the program over the weekend.
The toys were being stored in a POD container at a warehouse facility in Burlington until they would be distributed to local charities.
The program, coordinated by the United State Marine Corps with help from the State Police, collects and distributes toys for needy families.
Police say about 1,500 toys were stolen from the locked POD between 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Saturday.
It appears the toys were sorted through and only those valued between $15 and $30 and for children 8 and up were taken, police say.
“We are processing the PODS for potential physical evidence and are checking to see if there is any video surveillance of the surrounding area,” State Police spokesman David Procopio said Monday.
WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports from Burlington.
Colonel Marian McGovern, superintendent of the State Police, called it “a despicable crime.”
The Toys for Tots collection ended last week. But they announced the extended deadline Monday morning after they were overwhelmed with generous donations when word of the thefts became public.
John Danieli, CEO of Computer Merchant of Norwell made a $15,000 donation to Toys for Tots after hearing about the theft.
“One woman from Winthrop stopped by General Headquarters with approximately 10 bags of toys she purchased this morning. A retired US Army Colonel dropped off a check. A CEO of a South Shore company is bringing a check over,” Procopio said.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.
“Clear Channel Outdoor has donated a digital billboard on Route 93 in Medford northbound, north of Exit 31, to help spread the message that toys and donations are being accepted for two more days.”
Officials with Toys for Tots said they collected over 1,000 toys today.
Donations can be dropped off at any State Police barracks. Checks can be made out to “Toys for Tots.”
More Info: Toys For Tots web site
State police are also asking anyone who has information about the theft or if they are suspicious of a sudden large quantity of toys to call either state police at 508-820-2121 or Burlington police at 781-270-1914.