A Polk County woman was arrested for stealing hundreds of toys from Toys for Tots. Detectives said Tammy Strickland submitted 28 bogus applications for more than 140 made-up children.
“This is really not the Grinch,” Sheriff Grady Judd said, holding a picture of the Grinch cartoon. “This is the Grinch. This is Tammy Strickland,” Judd added, referring to Strickland’s mug shot.
Judd said investigators found more than a hundred toys in her home, which she stole last year as a volunteer for the organization.
Deputies busted Strickland in an undercover operation at the Toys for Tots warehouse Monday, according to Judd.
Several Toys for Tots volunteers were there Tuesday packing up donations. They were upset to hear about what Strickland allegedly did.
“It's pretty hard to swallow, and I'm glad that she's been caught,” Dorothy Dunlap said.
Detectives don't know what Strickland was planning to do with all the toys, but they think she might've been giving them out to kids at her business.
Fortunately, she didn't ruin Christmas. Toys for Tots volunteers said they have enough toys to hand out to every kid in need this year.
“We're excited that she's in jail,” Judd said. “It makes my Christmas a happy Christmas.”
Deputies said Strickland owns a business in Auburndale but was also receiving food stamps. They're looking into whether she lied when filling out that paperwork too.
T. Strickland chg with Grd Theft, 28 cts-Provide False Stmt to Obtain Credit/Propt, Obtain Proprt by Fraud, 164 cts Possess Counterfeit ID pic.twitter.com/fRQBAYgV2n— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) December 20, 2016