Two women were caught on security camera this weekend commiting a decidedly un-Christmas-like act: Stealing donations out of a Toys For Tots bin in front of Boscov's Department Store in the Coventry Mall.
According to a North Coventry police detective, calls started coming in within a couple of hours after they released the tape to the local Pottstown Mercury news site. The toys will be returned, but he said the culprits are juveniles, and it's not yet clear whether they will face any criminal charges.
After all, when a box of donated toys is sitting outside of a mall, after closing time -- who do they really belong to? The donator? The collector? The intended recipients? Society?
The law is less philosophical, the detective said: The toys belong to the store that was collecting them, and taking them was theft.
Charlotte Brown, a clerk at Boscov's, said she wasn't entirely suprised when she read about the incident in the newspaper. "It was inviting them to steal it," she said. "They shouldn't have left it outside." She said shoplifting is not uncommon in the store.
Elsewhere in the mall, a group of volunteer gift-wrappers raising money for Helping Hands charity were more shocked by the news.
"What kind of word can you use for that?" asked John Mack. "Atrocious," said Jane Mack.