Florida Grinch Accused Of Stealing More Than 100 Toys From ‘Toys For Tots’

Image courtesy of Eric Arnold

The holidays are a time for giving, but they’re also apparently quite a temptation for those who are only interested in giving to themselves. Case in point: a Florida woman who allegedly stole more than 100 toys from a Toys for Tots fundraiser. 

News 13 in Orlando reports that a 38-year-old woman is facing a slew of charges after police say she falsified hundreds of applications for Toys for Tots in order to pick up more than 100 toys.

According to police, who were tipped off to the woman’s alleged ploy last month, she filled out applications with 140 fictitious children’s names and 28 fictitious adult names requesting assistance from Toys for Tots on behalf of dozens of children. The woman’s name was listed as the “contact person” on each of the applications.

The woman was arrested by undercover detectives who met her at a Toys for Tots warehouse Monday after she had arrived with several family members and loaded a trailer with toys.

Later, the officers searched the woman’s house, finding 118 unwrapped toys still in their packaging, New 13 reports, noting that someone at the home confirmed the items were from Toys for Tots.

“Children in need. ‘Toys for Tots.’ These things are synonymous with Christmas,” Polk Sheriff Grady Judd told News 13. “Sadly, in this case, so is The Grinch. [The woman] spent a long time filling out fraudulent applications for nonexistent children to receive toys. Now she’ll be spending a lot of time in jail.”

Officers say they were unsure what the woman planned to do with the toys.

“Is she selling them?” Judd asked. “Is she giving them away?(I don’t know). But she just dadgum sure is stealing.”

The woman’s applications for the 2015 Toys for Tots fundraiser are currently under review. In all, she is facing charges of grand theft, 28 counts of providing false statement to obtain property, obtaining property by fraud and 164 counts of possessing counterfeit /fictitious identification, News 13 reports.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Grinches come out during the holiday season:

• Just today we reported on a thief stealing volunteer firefighters’ proceeds from a Christmas tree fundraiser in New Jersey.

• Last year, three postal works in New York were accused of stealing toys, electronics and other gifts from the “Operation Santa” program during the 2013 holiday season.

• There were also the thieves who took off with a 50-year-old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer statue from a home in Los Angeles in 2014.

• That same year a bunch of Grinches took $2,000 in Christmas trees from a cut-your-own farm in Maine.

• Another Scrooge was charged with stealing toys from a Toys for Tots bin in Virginia in 2013.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.