New Haven Community Rallies to Replace Gifts Stolen from Toy Drive

Thousands of dollars in donations disappeared from an annual toy drive in New Haven.

There has been a response from the community to make sure this Grinch does not ruin Christmas for hundreds of children.

"We went and looked at the boxes and the boxes were empty," Matashar Dillon, who runs the drive, said. "The ones that were not empty were half empty."

The theft occurred sometime on Saturday, Dillon said.

Pictures Dillon took on Friday and Saturday evenings show the difference in the number of toys stored at the Dixwell police substation community room.

"We had more at the last minute than we normally had, ever," Dillon said about the success of the fundraiser. "It was so many toys and you couldn’t walk through."

New Haven continue to police investigate but Dillon said she is confident she knows who is the culprit.

"It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, but we know who you are," Dillon said.

After an emergency call for toys went out Monday morning, local organizations are stepping up to replace the stolen toys. In addition to donating bicycles, United Way of Greater New Haven is collecting cash donations on its website.

"We’ll be out there shopping tomorrow," said vice president of development Jim Travers. "We are going to make sure that these kids have something under the tree for Christmas."

By late afternoon, United Way had raised more than $3 thousand for replacement toys.

As more people dropped in to drop off more toys, Dillon was moved to tears.

"God bless you, too, thank you so much, thank you," she said, while she embraced a woman who donated toys.

Toy and coat donations can be dropped off at the Dixwell community center located at 26 Charles St.

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