Thieves take toys from family shelter

December 15, 2010 4:35:56 PM PST
Toys for children who don't have a home were stolen from a family shelter in Humble. The toys were meant to go to children in need. But in a matter of seconds, they were gone. Unloading trucks full of donated goods is something staff and volunteers often do at the Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center in Humble. But last Friday case worker Juanita Zavala had two large gifts, donated as Christmas gifts for children at the shelter, in the back of her Ford pick-up. She ran inside to make a quick call and in a matter of a couple of minutes they were gone.

She said, "I looked and I said, 'Oh my God!' They stole the stuff out of the vehicle. I can't believe it."

What's even more incredible to Zavala is that thieves would target a domestic abuse shelter that served almost 700 needy women and children last year.

"They are victims of domestic violence. So now they are in a safe place, now to be re-victimized again," Zavala said. "Now somebody is stealing from them, that's very unfair."

On top of that, the shelter, being the only one of its kind in the area, is near capacity right now. Add to the emotional stress, kids are out of school and missing their familiar surroundings.

"Children there don't have their best friend or their bicycle or their back yard, and so we try very desperately to find opportunities and activities for the kid to do something during the holidays," said Judy Cox, Executive Director of Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center.

Luckily generous people from the Humble community are already coming forward with other gifts, gifts that Family Time Crisis can put to use. But the two large gifts have not been recovered. Unfortunately those toys will not be replaced unless another donation comes in.

A witness was able to get the license plate off the suspects vehicle. He handed that information over to police, who are now investigating with a solid lead.


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