Two people have been arrested in connection with burglarizing the Marine Toys for Tots foundation in St. Bernard.
Jessie Simpson, 25, and Nathan Rose, 41 were arrested and charged with receiving stolen property and tampering with physical evidence in Ky. Police are in the process of also charging the two men with felony breaking and entering in Hamilton County and extradition to Ohio.
St. Bernard police are now taking inventory of the recovered goods.
"When we loaded these up in trucks and cruisers last night we felt a little bit like Santa Claus going down the street with all these toys," Lt. Bill Ungruhe said.
"He gave me a call and I was just like ‘Wow'," Marine Sgt. Jonathan Briick said. "I almost started crying because I was just so happy."
Briick is the Toys for Tots coordinator for the Tri-state.
"To me it's an amazing thing," Briick said. "We found out Tuesday and we already got the guys Friday night."
Police say distinctive Coca-Cola logos on some of the toys helped police track down the thieves, but say they could not have done it without a few brave citizens who called Crime Stoppers.
"They were really outraged that people would take toys from kids. They were really outraged they would do it to an organization like the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation," Ungruhe said. "The spirit of Christmas is definitely alive in the Tri-state area and we've put Grinch in jail."
Friday night around 7:30p.m., St. Bernard Police Officers along with Erlanger and Covington, Ky Police Departments issued a search warrant at a home on Russell St. in Covington.
Leads from two Crime stoppers tipsters lead police to the location. Police recovered an estimated $10,000 worth of stolen toys inside the home. The suspects admitted to the offense and also told them of a storage bin in Cincinnati that held more stolen items. Police recovered an estimated $20,000 worth of toys from the bin along with personal items belonging to the Marines.
Police believe 90% of the stolen items have been recovered.
Anyone with further information on this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 513-352-3040 or the St. Bernard Police Department at 513-242-2727.
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