Yes, Virginia, there is a Grinch. His name is David Rennie, and although he didn’t succeed in stealing Christmas, it was not for want of trying.
As noted in this video report from the CBC in Toronto, Rennie, who was apprehended last weekend, faces 40 criminal charges in connection with a massive toy theft from a Salvation Army warehouse. Toronto police say they are still looking for at least one other person who is believed to have had a hand in the crime.
The toys and other donated goods worth about $2 million were stolen over a two-year period.
Police said at a news conference on Monday that a “significant” portion of the missing booty was recovered after officers executed four search warrants. All told, authorities recovered three trucks full of stolen goods, equaling about 150 skids worth of goods.
Police Det. Robert Strain told reporters, “It was clear [that the pilfered merchandise] was being held offsite from the wholesale company, and kept clearly under control.”
Among the loot were two high-end bicycles that were stashed in the warehouse’s washroom, while other recovered goods were found in a cold storage facility. The second suspect police are hunting for is believed to work for the company that owns this second facility.
Once police have catalogued the evidence, the donated goods will be returned to the Salvation Army, though there is no certainty it will be back in time for Christmas. In spite of that possibility, Salvation Army spokesperson Maj. John Murray saidm “We’re pleased to know those who donated goods will have their kindness go towards the directed purpose,” adding, “We’ll do everything in our power to make sure this never happens again.”
Rennie, 51, for his part in the caper faces the following charges:
- 10 counts of theft over $5,000,
- 17 counts of possession of property obtained by crime,
- Seven counts of theft under $5,000,
- Two counts of possession of stolen goods for the purpose of traffickingm
- Criminal breach of trust,
- Traffic in stolen goods, and
- Conspiracy to commit an indictable offense.
Although punishment for these offenses was not mentioned, it appears likely that Rennie will receive a lump of coal in his Christmas stocking
He is due to appear in court on Jan. 4.
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