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Holiday Givers Thwart Toy Thieves’ Work

Associated Press

Thieves who stole toys for poor children were foiled by donors who flooded a collection center with thousands of dollars worth of gifts and checks, charity workers said Sunday.

Barbara Zahner, executive director of Sacred Heart Community Services, said she was overwhelmed by the response after thieves broke into a storeroom and took the best toys among 2,000 that had been set aside for needy children.

“I’m just astonished at the goodness of people,” she said.

Several hundred people drove up over the weekend and left gifts and donations, including teddy bears, bicycles and board games, she said.

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“You can’t get any lower than stealing children’s toys,” said Gary Miller, who came to the center with his family to help sort the items.

The thieves took only the best toys, including new stuffed animals, doll babies and trucks, Zahner said.

Sacred Heart Community Services holds a toy giveaway each year, allowing about 1,000 parents who register to choose from the new and used toys. This year’s giveaway will take place today.

Zahner said two men were seen walking down the hall with full plastic garbage bags Thursday night, but no one paid much attention to them.

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