Sparta woman charged in toy theft in Warren County

Posted By | December 27, 2001 12:00 am

Duane Sherrill
The first of what police anticipate could be several warrants has been taken against a Sparta woman for the theft of toys from Warren County Rescue Squad’s toy drive.
The suspect, Millicent B. Gamble, was charged Friday with theft for allegedly stealing toys from the rescue squad’s collection trailer on the morning of Nov. 25. The theft was one of a series from the collection trailer, which lawmen believe is the work of separate individuals.
According to arrest warrants against Gamble, witnesses saw the suspect taking toys from the collection trailer, located in front of the rescue squad building on Sparta Street. The theft was allegedly witnessed around 11 a.m. The witnesses said they saw Gamble, who they knew by sight, load the toys into her car.
The arrest warrant comes following an extensive investigation by police into the rash of thefts from the collection trailer. Rescue squad officials said they heard some people were stealing the toys by the truck loads during broad daylight. The frequent thefts prompted rescue squad volunteers to remove the collection trailer and ask donators to bring the toys to the squad building and give them directly to workers.
The toy drive served 750 underprivileged children last year. Organizers expected to serve nearly 1,000 this year due to the downturn in the economy, making the thefts especially problematic due to the higher need for toys.
While Gamble is the first person charged, McMinnville Police Capt. Bryan Denton said he anticipates several more arrests.
“We are looking at more suspects, separate from Ms. Gamble,” Denton said. “We believe these thefts were the work of separate, unrelated people who helped themselves to the toys for different reasons.”
By Duane Sherrill, staff writer for Southern Standard

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