By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

DANVERS (CBS) – Hundreds of toys set to be donated to needy children this Christmas were stolen from Danvers.

Every year, Bert Russell keeps a large locked container on his front lawn to store donated toys for the Toys for Tots program in Essex County.

But on Thursday morning he noticed it wasn’t locked. And when he opened the door, Russell realized the boxes of toys were gone.

After calling other volunteers to inquire about the missing toys, he recalled seeing a car pull into his driveway around 6 p.m. on Thursday night and stop next to the storage bin. Russell had just gotten home from the hospital, and he thought it was another volunteer dropping off boxes of donated toys.

“I’m dumbfounded. To think we hadn’t even started the drive,” Ray Jalvert, the Commandant of the Essex County Detachment of the Marine Corps League said.

Russell says they would have given the toys to any family if they had just asked.

“If you came up to me now and said ‘I have a little girl or a little boy, can you help us out,’ we’d more than help you out,” he said.

Russell says he’s now more determined than ever to collect toys for kids in need this Christmas. He plans to make sure they’ll be delivered right up until December 25th.

Russell indicated he is grateful to everyone who donates to the cause.

“It’s a low blow, but we’ll make up for it, I guarantee you, we’ll make up for it,” he promised.

If you wish to donate a toy, you can drop it off at the Danvers Police station or visit

[display-posts category=”local” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4?”]

Comments (2)

Leave a Reply