Thief Swipes Toys for Tots Donation Jar from Diner

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STROUD TOWNSHIP -- A thief stole Christmas from some kids in need near Stroudsburg.

It happened at the Arlington Diner on North 9th Street around 6 p.m. Sunday.

The whole incident only took seconds but owners are hoping their surveillance footage will help police nab the thief.

A person with his hood up took a money canister from the register at the diner.

The money in the canister was being collected for the Toys For Tots campaign. Almost $400 was gone in a flash.

"Tough time of the year to do something like that," said John Malosh of East Stroudsburg. "People just don't care. I don't envy people out in the world today, especially the young ones."

Owners of the diner tell Newswatch 16 it happened just around 6 p.m. Sunday. A post on Arlington Diner's Facebook page says a bandit swiped a donation jar for Toys for Tots right off the counter.

Surveillance video shows the thief was only in the diner for a few seconds.

Owner George Halas hopes the video will lead police to an arrest.

"It's disheartening, to say the least," said Halas. "We do this to help the community and our customers really step up and give a really nice chunk of change every year."

The amount of community support has been overwhelming. Many people have stopped in to drop off money, hoping to fill the bin back up.

And without any notice, by mid-morning Monday some light was shed on this on this dark situation when a not-so-secret Santa dropped off a check for $400 to fill the donation canister back up.

Members of the Loyal Order Moose Lodge in Stroud Township were happy to bring some cheer to a sad situation.

"That's what the Moose is for," said member Anthony Nase. "We are here to help the community, and like I said, it was a no-brainer for us. We had the ability and the funds and that's what we wanted to do. We want to help out kids at Christmas time."

And although the bin is full again, community members are still hoping to see some justice.

"The community as a whole is like one family, so hopefully they will catch this person," said Ken Welter of Tobyhanna.

Stroud Area Regional Police are actively working this case.

Owners of the Arlington Diner will present a check to Toys For Tots on Thursday.

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