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'That Is So Disappointing,' Thieves Steal Toys For Tots Donations From Rye Real Estate Office

RYE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- It was a really crummy crime. Someone stole toys meant for needy kids from a donation box in Westchester County.

As CBS2's Christine Sloan reported, the donation box in front of a real estate office collecting Toys For Tots, is now empty.

On Tuesday afternoon, it was filled with stuffed animals, games, and other toys.

But Marylin Hoffman said a heartless thief stole all of the new, unwrapped toys, going to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

"Twenty toys, usually we end up by December 20, our pick up date, then they're distributed, we usually have 50 or 60 toys to contribute to this fund," Hoffman said.

Hoffman said when she came out around 5 p.m. all of the new toys were gone, just a couple of old ones were left behind.

On Sunday, two other toys were also swiped from the box. Residents of the upscale Westchester County town are livid.

"That is so disappointing. I can't imagine that anyone would ever do that -- toys of all things, for little kids, that is crazy," Tracy Curran said.

The real estate company said prosecuting the thief wouldn't be in the spirit of the season.

"If it was kids they'll find out when they grow up, it really wasn't a stunt. They'll find out they're really depriving the kids who are truly in need of receiving gifts at the holidays," Hoffman said.

Police said they're taking the crime seriously.

"The real estate company may not want to press charges, but if in fact we do identify a perpetrator, we can always investigate and hopefully interview a person and see if they will admit to committing some kind of theft," police commissioner Michael Corcoran said.

Police are looking for video and witnesses.

Hoffman has asked residents to donate more toys.

"We have faith in our community, and we have to look at it as a single incident," she said.

She said she knows the community will make sure needy kids have toys for the holidays.

Police said the robber could face up to a year in prison. Anyone with information has been asked to call the Rye Police Department's anonymous tip line at (914)-760-4243.

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