Stealing from Toys For Tots

Stealing from Toys For Tots
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- KEPR learned Toys for Tots is no longer welcome at Walmart. Workers at the superstore were accused of stealing from the donation program. Walmart doesn't want to take the risk, so it won't allow any more donation bins in its stores.

The holiday season has always been about giving. But now some Walmart employees are accused of taking. The superstore is fighting the suggestion its employees were helping themselves to toys in donation boxes.

Toys for Tots organizer Glen Carter said, "People had been taking things out of the unattended boxes and Walmart didn't want it to be a problem."

The mega-store put a stop to donation bins. It came as a shock to Carter. He's in charge of collecting gifts for the Toys-For-Tots program. He was all set to put out donation boxes at Walmarts across the Tri-Cities until he got a call that put a stop to the efforts.

"Walmart, in the past, has been a great partner to work with you know, we're kind of sad to lose them," he said.

A great partner to the point that Carter says Walmart customers donated about half the toys that came in to the Toys for Tots program.

Close to 2,000 local families signed up for help this year. While there are other drop boxes around town, the charity is hoping to rebound.

When we talked to Walmart about these donation boxes they said it was a policy change but they are trying to reach out to the community in other ways.

Like offering parking lot space for "fill the truck events." Another reason, Walmart's solicitation policy also changed. They can no longer support multiple organizations at any given time.

As for the stealing, we asked the company directly.

We asked, "What does corporate have to say about the accusations of theft?" A spokesperson replied, "I think, it's inaccurate. Our associates from across the...all around the country help support local communities."

There are no confirmed complaints about toys being stolen from Tri-Cities donation boxes but the company didn't want to risk that.

Carter said," I really am afraid that we're going to have a short fall this year.

Leaving organizers hoping there would be enough toys for Christmas morning.

There are still a lot of places to donate toys and they definitely want your help.

You can drop off new toys at GESA, Toyota of Tri-Cities, Ashley Furniture and many other locations. Check the Facebook page for the local Toys for Tots. It's listed under "newslinks" on this website.