AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Organizers of a popular holiday toy drive in the Denver area were on alert after a man claiming to be a Marine had apparently made off with several bins of toys, but it appears to be a miscommunication.
Toys for Tots is a nationwide program that’s run by the U.S. Marine Corps. Local spokesman Gunnery Sgt. David Bull told CBS4 a man claiming to be a Marine was believed to have gone to multiple stores, including dropoff locations in Denver and in the Southlands area in Aurora, and said he is an official Toys for Tots pickup person.
The person, however, told CBS4 that he had placed his own Toys for Tots bins in the stores and was actually giving the toys to the needy. Though he wasn’t an official Toys for Tots representative, he still thought he was doing the right thing. He claimed to be affiliated with the Marines.
The man was reportedly taking the toys and the bins with him. Bull said the toy drive’s real pickup personnel come to the stores in Toys for Tots shirts and have credentials that they show. Bull said real collectors leave the collection box.
CBS4 later confirmed officials with Toys for Tots said the man is now going to be a person in the their system legitimately gathering toys for the needy.
The toy drive has dropoff bins at Toys ‘R’ Us stores, Babies ‘R’ Us stores and Walmart stores, as well as many other locations throughout the city.