Grinch drives off with dealership’s toy donations

This article was originally published HERE


A volunteer with a Secret Santa organization in Ohio was charged last week with stealing bags of toys that a Ford dealership had collected from its customers.

The theft prompted some local businesses and residents to give hundreds of dollars in cash to make up for the more than 100 missing items.

“People are very angry at this person, especially after he was involved in Secret Santa,” Dunning Ford salesman Mike Neilson told TV station WSYX in Columbus. “You know, that’s a Grinch.”

Police were called after the volunteer had picked up nine large bags of toys from Dunning Ford in Cambridge, Ohio, but delivered only five small trash bags of toys. The dealership is offering customers $250 off a vehicle purchase if they donate five toys.

The volunteer, James Edwards, wasn’t authorized to pick up donations, according to the Secret Santa of Guernsey County, which delivers gifts to more than 2,000 area kids each Christmas Eve.

When officers found Edwards, they found a bag containing some of the missing toys in his trunk. Edwards, who pleaded not guilty, said it was there because “he got busy” and said dealership staff put it in the trunk without telling him, WSYX said. The other missing bags weren’t located.

Neilson, who is heading up the dealership’s toy drive, expressed gratitude for the outpouring of donations that came after he posted about the theft on Facebook.

“We have a lot of nice people in our community, and I think when somebody goes down everybody helps take them back up,” Neilson said. “I think that’s what’s going to happen here with Secret Santa.”