Charity donation box stolen from Ocala restaurant

Box last seen at local Wendy's

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

OCALA, Fla. - A charity that focuses on making sure children get Christmas gifts has lost hundreds of dollars after a donation box was stolen from an Ocala restaurant.

The box that collects cash for Toys For Tots was last seen on the counter at the Wendy's restaurant on Silver Springs Boulevard on Wednesday, according to coordinator Patrick Joynt.

"There's no doubt he knew what he was doing, and he knew who he was taking it from," he said.

He estimates the collection box had approximately $500 inside when it was taken.

"One of the managers had checked the (surveillance) tape, and somewhere around Wednesday they think that it disappeared," he said.

Joynt said the manager turned the surveillance video over to Ocala police.

He said the donation box is large, dark in color and opaque.

He said he knows times are tough for some people during the holidays, but he has a message for the person who took the box and the cash.

"You're taking from kids. I don't get that. I don't think this guy is that big of a scumbag, but he took toys out of kids hands," he said.

Joynt said some of the employees at the Wendy's started their own collection to help make up for the money that was stolen.

If you have any information on where the stolen money may have gone to, call Ocala police at 352-369-7000.

For more information on how to help Ocala's Toys For Tots, click here (http://ocala-fl.toysfortots.org/).

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