APB on the Grinch: Salvation Army van full of holiday toys stolen from Walmart parking lot

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – Holiday preparations took a Grinch-like twist for Farmington’s Salvation Army holiday toy program. A van loaded with $6,000 worth of toys set to be passed out on Monday, Dec. 20, to hundreds of local children was stolen on Dec. 14 from a store parking lot.

“It is a pretty Grinch-like thing to do,’ Farmington Police Department Public Information Officer Nicole Brown said on the morning of Dec. 15.

Brown said a detective conducted interviews Tuesday and the investigation is ongoing.

Farmington police reached out via Facebook for the public’s help in finding the white 2011 Sienna minivan that was stolen from the Walmart on E. Main Street. 

“It had two Salvation Army magnets on the sides but they may have been removed, and NM license plate of 614RLG,” the post stated.

Farmington police are seeking help from the public to locate a stolen white 2011 Sienna minivan with the New Mexico license plate of 614RLG. It was loaded with toys to be given away to local kids by Farmington's Salvation Army staff and volunteers.

Police ask anyone who may have information to call the dispatch center at 505-334-6622 about case number 21-68289.

Salvation Army Farmington Corps Officer Lt. Christopher Rockwell said the program serves 350 area kids.

Since the distribution event at the Salvation Army’s former thrift store at 316 W. Animas happens next week, “time is of the essence to replace the toys. Volunteers are also needed for Monday’s distribution event,” Rockwell said in a news release.

“Anyone wishing to donate new, unwrapped toys to replace those stolen and/or would like to volunteer for toy distribution on Monday, Dec. 20 is asked to please contact Lt. Rockwell at 505-327-5117 or Christopher.Rockwell@usw.SalvationArmy.org,” the release said.

Rockwell told the Daily Times that since issuing his news release he has heard from a radio station group that wants to help raise awareness about the need for replacement toys.

People who want to help can also visit The Salvation Army Farmington Corps Community Center at 319 W. Broadway in Farmington, Rockwell said.

The distribution event is from 9 a.m. until noon on Dec. 20.

The Salvation Army operates out of 25 centers in New Mexico and provides church service, food for the hungry, and shelter and clothe for the homeless, among other services.

Contact John R. Moses at 505-564-4624, or via email at jmoses@daily-times.com.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e