Grinch Steals Toys

By: 
Kirt Ramirez

Tracy Young started buying Christmas presents in June to give away to the Interval House nonprofit in December.

Young, a property manager for Arnold and Associates, stored her gifts in a locked garage at one of the apartment buildings she manages on Second Street and Orange Avenue.

Then thieves broke in overnight on October 23 and took all the toys meant for the children of disadvantaged mothers.

“It was just upsetting because it was all for charity,” Young said. “I had to start all over again. It hurts.”

Except for a few things scattered in the alley, the items were not recovered and the loss was great.

Young spent her own money in addition to funds raised through private donations, local stores and retailers, and through the generosity of her boss, Edward Arnold.

“It was a lot of work,” she said.

“There were 15 bikes that were stolen, anywhere from little kids’ bikes to beach cruisers,” she said. “And then I had seven or eight skateboards, a couple of motorized trucks, All-American dolls,” and so on, she said.

“They were all good-size, big things,” she said. “They got about $5,000 worth of toys.”

Meanwhile, Young went out and bought new toys for the children. Asked how the replaced items were paid for, she said, “It’s mainly Mr. Arnold.”

Arnold, a retired L.A. City firefighter and who did not want publicity, said, he believes in Interval House.

“It’s one organization that gives back,” he said. “If you ever look at it, the money that’s donated to them, they almost spend equally that amount of money; that’s real high. A lot of these charities, they take a buck from you and they keep 50 cents.”

Carol Williams, executive director of Interval House, said through email, “We were heartbroken to hear about the theft that harmed the beautiful efforts of Ed Arnold, Tracy Young and their team. They have selflessly and generously collected toys for several months, and we were shocked to hear about the burglary.”

Williams added, “The toys were going to be offered to the children served by Interval House – those in our homeless outreach programs and those living in our emergency and transitional shelters over the holidays.”

Williams said toys come to Interval House from various sources and that all who help are greatly appreciated.

“Interval House is a six-time Presidential Award-winning program headquartered in our City of Long Beach since 1979,” Williams wrote. “Interval House operates a full continuum of emergency shelters, transitional housing, permanent housing/rental assistance programs and supportive services for victims of domestic violence, as well as those who are homeless and at risk of homelessness.

“Interval House is the nation’s first survivor led program, and uniquely offers programs and services in over 70 languages.”

For those wishing to contribute a cash gift or toys, they may contact Christine or Kelly at Interval House at (562) 594-9492.

Regarding the burglary, Long Beach Police Media Relations Detail said in part, “While on the scene, officers arrested a male adult subject who was determined not to be involved in the burglary and was arrested for unrelated charges.

“At this time, the suspect(s) are outstanding, no suspect information is available, and there are no further leads. The investigation is ongoing.”

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