Christmas Grinch Part Two – Thief Steals from Toys for Tots


A Grinch-like burglar broke into a storage facility in Seattle and stole over $6,000.00 in toys that had been donated to a Toys for Tots program. The local YWCA used a donation of $6,250.00 to purchase approximately 250 toys to give to underprivileged children.  Hopefully the police are able to solve this theft case, recover the presents, and distribute them to the needy kids.

The good news is that the charity that had initially donated the funds to the YWCA promised to replace the money so additional presents could be purchased. The YWCA also stated that other people in the community had provided additional support.

Pennsylvania Theft Cases – Severity of Charge Based Upon Value of Item

In Pennsylvania, the grading and severity of theft charges is primarily based upon the value of the item taken. In the above referenced case, with the value of the presents being over $6,000.00, the theft charge in Pennsylvania would be a  felony of the third degree. A third degree felony is punishable by a sentence of up to 7 years in jail and a $15,000.00 fine.  While many misdemeanor theft cases are resolved via participation in a first time offenders program known as ARD, the felony grading of this theft charge probably would prevent ARD approval by the district attorney.

If the thief did not have a prior criminal record, the recommended sentence for this theft offense is probation up to 9 months in jail. While I doubt that a judge would give the person 9 months, I believe that a judge is highly likely to give this thief a heavier sentence than normal based upon the circumstances. More specifically, I believe a judge may impose a heavier sentence in this case because the toys that were stolen were for underprivileged children. If the thief were sentenced to spend some time in jail, I believe that his prison “cred” and reputation would not be very high after stealing from underprivileged kids.