Toronto police recover truckloads of items allegedly stolen from Salvation Army

The Canadian Press
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BRAMPTON, Ont. — Toronto police have recovered a massive cache of toys and donated goods they say were stolen from a Salvation Army warehouse.

Police say they had to use three tractor-trailers to haul the items, which were found Friday when officers searched a commercial warehouse in Brampton, northwest of the city.

They say they discovered 146 skids stacked with items including toys, baby cribs, strollers and food.

Police say the donations were “diverted” from the Salvation Army and being sold for profit.

It’s alleged up to 100,000 items worth some $2 million were stolen from the charity’s facility in north-end Toronto over nearly two years.

Police say they’ll return the goods once they’ve finished taking an inventory.

In a statement a Salvation Army spokesman commended police for their investigation but said they don’t expect to get the items back quickly.

“The Salvation Army is under no illusions that the recovered toys can be returned to us soon, as it appears likely they will be required as evidence in any criminal court proceedings that arise,” John Murray said.

Police haven’t said what percentage of the allegedly stolen donations have been recovered.

More information is expected to be released today.

Police have been investigating since September but have not made any arrests.

Murray told reporters Wednesday that a whistleblower tipped off the organization a few months ago, sparking an internal audit that made the “troubling” discovery.

That probe lead to the firing of executive director David Rennie. No criminal charges have been laid.

Murray said the charity believes its Toronto warehouse was the only location targeted by the alleged theft.

He said the Toronto depot had video surveillance but that auditor KPMG has been retained to see if anything more can be done.

The discovery came as the Salvation Army starts its annual Christmas Kettle donation campaign.

Murray said that about 140,000 toys are distributed to families each holiday season from the Toronto warehouse, but that no one will go without.

“I can assure you that anyone in need this Christmas will be helped by the Salvation Army,” he said.

Organizations: The Salvation Army

Geographic location: Toronto, BRAMPTON

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Recent comments

  • roy
    November 26, 2012 - 15:04

    You are right there are to many unanswered questions, would this have been discovered without the whistleblower. How could these many skids of toys go missing with no one knowing. How can this organization have so many surplus toys is there no place in canada that could have used these toys or elsewhere? I realize that some toys can be held back for times when there is not enough to go around, but to loose this much and go undetected. I and others will still give because there are a lot of needy people and we should all share but a lot of questions need to be answered.

  • the gringe that stole christmas
    November 26, 2012 - 09:51

    the salvation army also need to be investigated into this crime, why did it take 2 years to discover that the good were missing ? were the video cameras working? too many unanswered questions.