2 people sought in Toys for Tots theft

PORT RICHMOND - December 3, 2011

It was late Wednesday afternoon just around closing time at Stock's Bakery on East Lehigh Avenue, when a pony-tailed man and a woman with dark hair arrived to pick up a cake they ordered under the name Beatrice.

But that's not all they picked up.

As owner Kristine Stock DeCarles discovered, the woman also helped herself to several of the presents in a Toys for Tots box for needy children placed near the front door.

It was all captured on security camera tape.

"I was flabbergasted. I couldn't believe that somebody could actually do that," DeCarles said.

Bakery employee Allison Amrhein waited on the couple. She says the toys in the box were paid for by the counter servers who pooled their tips from Thanksgiving.

"It's really tragic and upsetting to think that people could be so cruel and greedy at this time of year," Amrhein said.

Customers who flooded the popular bakery Saturday agree.

"It's just a shame that people would stoop to that level to steal from needy children," David LeFevere of Fishtown said.

"I think to take the toys away from children is disgraceful. They have to be really hard up to do something like that. It's terrible," Mary Murphy of Port Richmond said.

The people at Stock's Bakery would love it if the thieves returned the presents they stole, but truth be told, they don't really expect that to happen.

"Even if they don't come back here, if they're too embarrassed, go to another Toys for Tots box and put it in," DeCarles said.

The box at Stock's has now been moved to the back of the store and the bakery's loyal customers are already chipping in to replace the stolen toys.

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