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Toys stolen from Toys for Tots

Toys stolen from Toys for Tots

October 27th, 2017 by Jenny Gray in Local News

Steve Diemler, serving as Toys for Tots coordinator for Marine Corps League, Samuel F. Gearhart Detachment, carries a box filled with donated toys and goods to a delivery truck in December 2014 as members of the Salvation Army pick up toys and donations.

Photo by Kris Wilson /News Tribune.

Police are looking for the person or persons who stole 12 boxes of toys recently from a Fulton area storage locker.

Those toys were being stored by Melissa Barnes, local coordinator of Toys for Tots, which distributes Christmas gifts to more than 6,000 needy children in Central Missouri. The program is headquartered in Columbia but also distributes in Fulton.

"They took 12 big boxes of my (Toys for Tots) toys," Barnes said.

Barnes said the theft was discovered Tuesday at a storage locker unit off North U.S. Business 54. She said someone called and told her it look liked the unit she rented for the toy drive had been breached, and she went straight there.

"You could see toys laying out on the ground," Barnes said. "They didn't just take the lock — they did damage to the door."

She hopes someone sees the boxes and reports them to law enforcement.

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"They're big, heavy boxes," she said. "If someone sees them, call the police. I want them found."

Barnes said she couldn't place a value on the stolen toys. She planned to have them taken to the warehouse in Columbia next week to prepare them for distribution.

All of the toys had been donated. If people care to donate more toys, collection boxes are set up in Fulton at Dollar General and Family Dollar stores, Barnes said.

"Every year, we collect toys from January to December," she said.

Fulton Police Chief Steve Myers said a detective is working on the case. The police department can be reached at 573-592-3100.

For those who would like to help with the Toys for Tots program, Barnes can be reached at 573-826-1536.