Gifts inside 'Toys for Tots' bin stolen from outside Rye business

RYE, New York (WABC) -- A heartless thief stole gifts that were meant for needy children.

A bin set aside for "Toys for Tots" was cleaned out sometime Tuesday afternoon right outside of a Westchester County real estate office.

"We participate in a great fundraiser which is the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves 'Toys for Tots' over the holiday season, we've done it for four years," said Marilyn Hoffman, of William Raveis.

And every year the donation box is right out in the open, in front of the William Raveis Real Estate office on Purchase Street in Rye, collecting toys for children in need.

"On Sunday we were notified that two gifts were missing from the box and I thought, 'Well maybe, that's odd.' Who knew? Then yesterday, ironically we came out at about 2 o'clock and took a photograph of how big the box was filled and it was about three-quarters full of toys," Hoffman said.

By the end of the day, around 5 p.m., Hoffman says the box looked empty.

Someone had helped themselves to practically all of the toys that were to be donated.

"It's never happened before, we'd like to think it was someone really, truly, in need, and if that's the case it went to a good cause. If it was kids, they just don't realize they are truly depriving someone that needs a gift over the holidays," Hoffman said.

She says they're not looking to prosecute anyone; they just want to recoup what they lost.

"We will continue to have great faith in our community and we are just going to hope that people will open up their pocketbooks and be even more generous," Hoffman said.
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