Man Stole Toys For Tots Donation Jar From Winthrop Harbor Gas Station

CHICAGO (CBS) — Why would someone take money from children in need?

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports that a man calmly took a jar with money off the counter at a Winthrop Harbor Shell station, which is directly across the street from the police department.

“The funds were being collected for the Winthrop Harbor Toys For Tots,” said Scott Fuller, who is the Director of Parks & Rec. at Winthrop Harbor. “Each year, the local organization buys toys and clothing for children in need in the community.”

Initially, the man came in to buy alcohol. Realizing it was too early to do so, he left. The suspect proceeded to come back into the gas station and take the donation canister.

“To take something that has been generously donated to fund the toys for children at the Christmas time and the holiday time — it just breaks your heart,” said Winthrop Harbor Cmdr. Michael Bitton. “I couldn’t believe it.”

A Shell employee said, when full, those jars can hold several hundred dollars.

The man, with tattoos on his face and arms and a long salt and pepper beard, had an accomplice. A woman was waiting behind the wheel of a black Kia Sportage with Wisconsin plates.

“I’ve never heard of something like this happening. It hurts my heart to hear it,” said Staff Sgt. Johnny Garcia, the Toys for Tots Coordinator. “You’ve got to think about the children at the end of the day and it’s all about them.”

The Winthrop Harbor program was inspired by the Marine Toys for Tots Program, which was started by the United States Marines.

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