Theft of $2M in toys committed over 2 years: Salvation Army
Chris Fox, cp24.com
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012 10:53AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 21, 2012 4:53PM EST
The theft of about $2 million in toys from a Salvation Army warehouse on Railside Road was “deliberate and strategic” and was committed over the span of about two years, a spokesperson for the organization says.
The theft was reported to police on Sept. 27 but first made headlines on Tuesday after a CTV Toronto investigation.
Speaking with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Maj. John Murray called the theft “disheartening.”
“It speaks to the issue of greed and it speaks to the issue of criminal intent and it is concerning,” he said. “When you are stealing from an organization like Salvation Army you are not stealing from the Salvation Army itself -- you are stealing from the people Salvation Army helps everyday and in Canada that’s 1.8 million people in 400 different communities.”
The Salvation Army began an internal investigation in August after a whistleblower came forward to report the theft, Murray told reporters.
“It is a fairly complex case, so it is going to take us some time to determine exactly what has happened and who is responsible,” Toronto police Const. Tony Vella told CP24 Wednesday morning. “At this point nobody has been arrested.”
It is unclear where the approximately 100,000 missing toys ended up and police say they have no timetable for their investigation.
“The officers are actively working on the case,”Vella said. “They are speaking to witnesses, they are going through pertaining documents but at the end of the day it’s going to take us some time.”
The theft is believed to be an isolated incident.
“To those Canadians who routinely and generously give to the Salvation Army I would appeal to you to not lose confidence in the work that we do,” Murray told reporters. “Our protective systems worked and we anticipate that we will recover most of the losses through insurers.”
“I can assure you that we will be diligent because every dollar that is entrusted to us is sacred,” Murray said. “We don’t take that lightly.”
In light of the theft, the Salvation Army will conduct a full forensic audit of its Railside Road facility using the services of KPMG.
The warehouse, which distributes about 140,000 toys every holiday season, is staffed by a small group of management personnel who work alongside delivery personnel.
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