, Salem, MA

December 24, 2012

Theft of Christmas presents touches hearts locally

By Alan Burke
Staff writer

---- — SALEM — A Salem News story about stolen Christmas presents led to a small avalanche of toys being sent to the Salem police yesterday.

On Saturday the News reported that a woman on Ward Street told officers she got the delivery of a box of toys for her 4-year-old provided by a local organization that sends gifts to kids at Christmas. But when she went to collect the box from the hallway of her apartment building she discovered it was empty.

Apparently, some Scrooge-like miscreant had struck. The bottom of the box had been cut open, the gifts removed.

By Sunday afternoon Boston’s Channel 7 had picked up the News story and broadcast an interview with the unhappy mom. That’s when the toy deluge really hit.

“All of a sudden the phone began to ring,” said Salem police Lt. Conrad Prosniewski yesterday. “One woman called up and said, ‘I’m going to Target right now and getting some toys.’” Another woman just arrived at the station with a bunch of toys. “A lot of interested people are bringing in toys.”

Police are hopeful that publicity about this happy development will alert people to orient their charitable instincts in another direction. There are plenty of places yet to donate for children.