Stolen Salvation Army toys recovered

Maj. John Murray, spokesman for the Salvation Army, speaks to the press Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2012,...

Maj. John Murray, spokesman for the Salvation Army, speaks to the press Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2012, about 100,000 toys that were stolen from the charity's east Toronto warehouse over a 24-month period. Murray says they estimate the stolen goods to be worth $2 million. (SHAWN JEFFORDS/QMI Agency)

Shawn Jeffords, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:04 AM ET

TORONTO — A large number of the toys stolen from the Salvation Army in the past two years have been recovered from a Brampton, Ont., warehouse, Toronto Police said Saturday.

Thousands of donated items were allegedly diverted to be sold for profit.

Police recovered toys, baby cribs, strollers and food — enough to fill three tractor-trailers, said Det.-Sgt. Jim Gotell.

The items are now being held by police as evidence with the eventual goal of returning them to the Salvation Army, he said.

No arrests have yet been made.

"Officers ... were able to complete the first part of the investigation which was the recovery of the stolen goods," Gotell said. "Now, we will begin to look at persons of interest in this case."

"We very much appreciate the response of individuals and companies that have stepped forward with donations at our time of need,"said Sally Ann spokesman Maj. John Murray.

"The Salvation Army is under no illusions that the recovered toys can be returned to us soon, as it appears likely they will be required as evidence in any criminal court proceedings that arise."

Murray and the Salvation Army went public with information about the multi-million dollar theft from their Toronto warehouse last Wednesday.

David Rennie, executive director of the warehouse operation, was fired after an internal audit revealed the toys were missing.

Rennie had been on paid leave since a whistleblower reported problems.

kevin.connor@sunmedia.ca

-- With files from Brian Gray


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