Inside the Fairfield Police Department lobby is a Christmas tree and a few big boxes filled with donated presents for children, and others in need.
However, on Tuesday night, a woman was caught on surveillance cameras trying to take off with a number of toys.
"After a period of time admiring the tree, peeking into the bin, she was actually taking toys from the bin and then bringing them out to her car and coming back in,” said Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara. “She'd then take more toys and gifts and ornaments from the tree. So at that point we had someone who was stealing from the department."
Police arrested 55-year-old Judith Howard, of Seymour, who is accused of snatching more than one dozen toys valued at more than $300, all meant to be donated to children at Bridgeport Hospital, and others in need.
"Initially she indicated there was a great need, but then after a period of time, we determined it was a crime of opportunity. She saw toys there and she took them,” MacNamara said. "It’s that people donate toys this time of year to give to people and need and if she had simply asked for toys for her grandkids, children, obviously that's what they're there for. We want to give them away, but to just take them, it’s inappropriate, it’s not right."
MacNamara said the department will continue to collect gifts for the next few weeks and they even have a few toy drives scheduled before dropping off the presents on Dec. 23.
Howard is expected to appear in court later this month.
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