Tonawanda News

Local News

August 29, 2013

Thieves target Ken-Ton Closet charity

Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Organizers of the Ken-Ton Closet said hundreds of dollars worth of back-to-school supplies were stolen from their center in the town’s Sheridan Parkside building.

Jill O’Malley, the director of the organization, said their room in the building was accessed sometime between Thursday afternoon and Tuesday morning, when a volunteer discovered what had happened. 

“I got a call at work from one our volunteers, she thought it was a mess ... it sounded like a lot of people had been in the room,” O’Malley said.

About 40 backpacks, along with other more inexpensive items, like crayons, markers, and toothpaste, were taken. All of the materials were meant to be distributed to needy kids in the Ken-Ton School District before the start of school next week. 

“They emptied the cupboards of what they didn’t take and threw it onto the floor, and dumped out boxes of clothing,” O’Malley wrote on the group’s Facebook page.

The organization, which was created in January to collect clothing and other items for needy children in the district, hasn’t reported the thefts to police, Town of Tonawanda Lt. Nick Bado said. O’Malley said because the supplies are everyday items, it would likely be difficult to determine who the perpetrators were.

There were no signs of forced entry and O’Malley said doors in a separate wing of the building that the Closet does not use were left open. 

“We are just going to ensure our doors are locked, and make sure people don’t have access to it in the future,” she said. 

The organization’s volunteers are hoping they can collect enough donations before the start of school next week. They are especially in need of backpacks, and were also wiped out of the following items: crayons, thick and thin markers, highlighters, index cards, pens, pencils, erasers, composition notebooks, glue, scissors and three-subject notebooks. 

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