Burglar steals toys in Tuscaloosa from Toys for Tots distribution center

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Tuscaloosa Police are looking for a burglar that broke into the Toys for Tots distribution center this week.

With only a few weeks before Christmas, volunteers with Toys for Tots want to know why anyone could steal toys that help children in need. Master Sergeant Ryan Leach from the United States Marine Corps works with Toys for Tots, and he is in disbelief.

“Well its a tragedy, and you hate to think that people of good will have given their toys to the Marines to make sure we give it to the kids,” Leach said. “And that someone would come here and take toys from kids around Christmas is not something we would like to think about but it happened and thankfully not a lot of toys were taken.”

The thieves broke into the building on Old Montgomery Highway Monday night through a vent where heat and air conditioning units used to be located.  The thieves took remote controlled helicopters and toy cars that cost around $800.  Leach has a message from whoever is responsible.

“I would tell them just bring the toys back and put them on the step, no questions asked,” Leach said. “We would just like to get them back, and just make sure these toys get to the kids and people they were intended for.”

Despite the setback, Leach says he along with the volunteers are not going to let this crime prevent them from giving kids a merry Christmas.  Leach says this is the first time anyone has ever stole toys in ten years that the program has been in existence.

“But just as the community helps us every year to make sure we get toys, we are sure that the community will help us make sure these kids will have a good Christmas”.

Toys for Tots in Tuscaloosa will serve 960 families and 2,000 kids this Christmas. Donations can be taken until December 20th at Walmarts in Northport and in Tuscaloosa.

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