The back of a police cruiser typically transports bad guys, but for some New Haven detectives on Friday, the cruisers were filled with toys.
Boxes upon boxes of video games will soon find a home for the holidays, along with more than a dozen X-Box consoles, PlayStations, and other gaming systems.
All of the electronics have been recovered in raids throughout the city over the past few years.
"Pawn shop type operations, illegal second hand businesses that weren't supposed to be operating as a pawn shop or second hand businesses, taking the property illegally, supposed to report it to the police department and they weren't,” said New Haven Police Det. Joseph Aurora.
After getting the goods back from the court, detectives ran it through a database and all of it ended up being untraceable.
So the department’s Robbery and Burglary Unit came up with the idea to donate it all, instead of having it take up space, adding roughly $20,000 in electronics to the city’s annual holiday toy drive.
"These are men and women with hearts, hearts for the community, hearts for the children,” said Honda Smith, of the Department of Public Works, who has been organizing the drive for years. "I was overwhelmed because the fact that this is going to take some girl or boy off the street and old school games, keep them busy instead of lounging around or hanging on the street with nothing to do."
"We felt it was a good way to give back to the community, especially around the holidays,” Aurora said.
New Haven police will still collect toys for the city’s campaign, which can be dropped off at its headquarters on Middletown Avenue.
The gifts will be handed out at the city’s annual holiday party next Saturday at the Floyd Little Field House starting at noon.
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