Christmas toys stolen from group that was collecting for needy kids
The toys were going to be distributed Saturday at “Jingle Bash,” organized by the Los Angeles-based nonprofit An Open Door for the 10th year. Coordinators are now trying to collect enough toys before the event.
“When someone takes from us they’re not hurting us, they’re hurting these kids,” said Aaron Morrison, spokesman for An Open Door. “These families have come to rely on us to help fill a gap because times are especially hard.”
The toys, donations from the California Highway Patrol and Toys for Tots, were stolen from the garage of the nonprofit’s director, Makeda Murray, between midnight on Wednesday and 7 p.m. Thursday. The theft was reported to the sheriff's station in Marina del Rey.
“We’ve been running this event for 10 years and every single year we put them in the garage and we never had this happen before,” Morrison said. “Murray is going to see if she can scrounge up toys.”
The event at Angeles Mesa Auditorium in View Park-Windsor Hills is expected to continue, with an appearance by the Los Angeles Laker Girls and Santa Claus.
Murray posted a sign outside her garage Thursday.
“Attention thieves, God is watching you and so am I. Repent and return my stuff. May God have mercy on your souls.”
Anyone with information or who’d like to make a donation can contact An Open Door at (347) 855-3140 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Updated at 3 p.m. Dec. 21: Toys and gift cards will be collected at Angeles Mesa Auditorium, 3751 W. 54th Street in Los Angeles on Friday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. or Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.]
-- Adolfo Flores
Photo: The sign An Open Door director Makeda Murray posted on her garage after the toys were stolen. Credit: Aaron Morrison