AKRON, Ohio - Representatives from the Akron Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 made a special delivery on Thursday, hoping to make up for some of what thieves stole from a Toys for Tots effort.
Volunteers are now working around the clock helping to count, sort, and bag donated toys for as many as 15,000 local boys and girls for the holidays.
These efforts come after two people posing as volunteers used their access to steal approximately $5,000 worth of toys by slipping them into a back room and out a back door.
Word of the theft generated a heartwarming community response. Individuals and companies from around the area have responded by offering donated toys and money.
New volunteers have now joined the effort.
Fraternal Order of Police President Frank Williams said when his chapter was offered the chance to pick up toys from the state FOP for distribution in the Akron area there was very little discussion needed to decide what they would do.
"Unfortunately, the circumstances that happened out here, it was kind of thrown into our lap and it was perfect timing. We were able to step in and help where we could," said WIlliams.
Representatives from the FOP chapter and the Akron Police Department delivered a trailer load of toys to the effort on Thursday.
This all happening while the department is trying to apprehend the two accused thieves.
"We have identified who the two suspects are involved in the theft of these toys and we are working with that as we speak right now," said Akron Police Lieutenant Rick Edwards.
The two suspects were hoped to be charged and in custody by the end of the day on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Thursday's delivery was met with an emotional response by the Toys for Tots volunteers.
"We are very grateful. People thought they could hold us down, but they couldn't hold us down. We kept working. We kept focused. We kept praying," said Tammy Palmer, who joined the effort five days ago.
"When somebody stole something from something that the Lord has done and then you get here and...look at the Lord blessing. You can't beat God given no matter how hard you try." said Carolyn Holsey.
The Akron Police Chief credited the FOP and the community at large for the response to this heartbreaking crime.
"Out of a bad moment something so positive could come out of this. It's very exciting," said Ball.
"The people who put this together are amazing in themselves because it's just such a vast thing and I'm glad we could help," said WIlliams.