Children's equipment stolen and re-sold in N.J.

May 6, 2010 2:54:14 PM PDT
Police have caught alleged thieves on surveillance video stealing equipment from playgrounds and day care centers. Police say the suspects take everything from merry go rounds to plastic toys.

On one of the videos from the 'Singing Rooster Daycare's' security camera, a U-Haul is shown on a Sunday afternoon rolling through, and two men and a woman are seen clearing out the playground.

"It's disgusting they would steal from the kids. Not us, but kids. It's sad," said daycare Asst. Director Amy Marino.

A few miles away, toys and toddler tables were snatched from Congregation B'nai Israel's play-yard.

"And now that it's nice out, they can't come and enjoy their snacks outside," said Rabbi Ellen Wolintz-Fields.

Toms River police blame Jeffrey Siegelman of Lakewood, Tracy Williams of Jackson, and Michael Colucci of Middletown.

They're charged with theft and police say they may have been at it for a while.

Daycares in a dozen towns across two counties are reporting thefts that began 2 years ago.

"They've been doing this since 2008...and with what's been stolen, it could reach into the 10's of thousands of dollars," said Det. Loring Dunton, with Times River Police.

Police say the toys were being sold at yard sales and flea markets. They caught the trio using their U-Haul against them, as police took note of the yellow and green design on its side, which led them to the store that owns it, and the woman who rented it.

Several police departments are still comparing notes, to see if all the thefts might come back to the same three people.

The daycare facilities are trying to raise money to replace what was stolen.