Person charged in Salvation Army toy thefts in Toronto

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/Toronto Sun)

Ian Robertson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:04 PM ET

TORONTO -- The Salvation Army warehouse boss recently dismissed after $2 million worth of donated toys and other goods vanished now faces three criminal charges.

David Rennie, 51, who surrendered to police Monday, is charged with theft over $5,000, possession of stolen goods and criminal breach of trust. He was released on his own recognizance and will return to court Jan. 4.

Staff-Insp. Tony Riviere said police "anticipate further arrests" in what he told QMI Agency was an "atrocious" scheme to steal donated items and sell them for profit.

Suspended in September after a Salvation Army "whistleblower" alerted officials, Rennie -- the former executive director at the facility used to store bulk donations -- was fired recently after an internal audit revealed toys went missing over the past two years.

Staff-Sgt. James Gotell told reporters that in his 23 years with Toronto Police, "I haven't seen anything like this magnitude before."

He predicted much of the recovered items will be returned in time for Christmas distribution to the needy.

Riviere said detectives seized more than 150 skids of toys, food and other items from a Toronto warehouse and a Brampton, Ont., cold storage facility over the weekend.

Two Canadian-made bicycles donated by Premier Dalton McGuinty for a Christmas drive were among the recovered donations.

Promising to continue "our focus on Christmas," the Salvation Army's Maj. John Murray said he looks forward to receiving the three transport trailer loads of seized donations back "in the coming days."


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