Thieves hit 'Toys For Tots' program in Wayne County

WESTLAND, Mich. – Toys For Tots feels targeted by a couple of thieves who have hit drop-off spots in Wayne, Livonia and Westland.

Cathy Buchanan was holding back tears on Tuesday because her team at Independent Carpet One in Westland, along with their customers, have been collecting toys for the Toys For Tots campaign for the past 18 years. This year someone stole them.

"This time of the year they bring in the toys -- bags and bags of toys -- and now we have nothing to give the Marine Corps. It's just devastating," she said.

Two men smoothly showed up Friday and announced they were picking up the toys. The receptionist notice their truck was loaded with about six other Toys For Tots boxes.

"We all have kids and that's what Christmas is all about. It just breaks our heart that these kids won't have any toys this year," said Buchanan.

Rebecca Yarbrough, the regional coordinator for Toys For Tots, said the boxes are easy targets. She has seen thefts before in her 30 years with the program. It upsets her every time.

"I worry that the babies aren't going to get Christmas. I do it for the love of the children. It bothers me that someone could be so heartless," she said.

Yarbrough suspects the same men broke into the Toys For Tots warehouse Tuesday morning in Inkster. They broke a window but couldn't get all the way in.

"I think they're rotten. I think they're criminals. I think they're just as bad as the terrorists who are destroying our mindset right now," said Yarbrough. "There's all forms of terrorists, but to terrorize children? And they don't even know it. It's sickening."

Witnesses described the thieves as two white men in their 50s. One had a mustache and both were wearing yellow reflective vests. They were driving a green flatbed pickup with sides. It looked like a hay hauler and had a logo on its side.

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