By Danny Schrafel
A Huntington non-profit which provides necessities and toys for needy families across Long Island – especially during the holiday season – is reeling after its founder said someone broke into their warehouse last week and stole food that could have fed 150 people.
Toys of Hope founder Melissa Doktofsky said Monday that the suspect, who was caught on surveillance cameras, pried open the door to the charity’s Huntington Station warehouse, on East 2nd Street, at 1 p.m. Nov. 16, made off with about 50 boxes of food and dumped a car seat and other items from her car so she could fit more stolen goods into her vehicle.
Doktofsky said the incident is “beyond upsetting.”
“It’s a personal offense to me,” she said. “It’s hard to fathom.”
Doktofsky said she is preparing to call the police after giving the culprit a week since last Sunday to return the food. The theft has delayed food deliveries, she said, and Toys of Hope volunteers will also have to scour the warehouse to ensure that nothing has been tampered with.
While surveillance cameras did not get not get suspect’s face on video, Doktofsky said the video captures the suspect’s car. The suspect left a piece of paper behind with a name on it, she added.
In the meantime, Doktofsky said Toys of Hope is taking steps to tighten security. The founder is calling on her supporters over the last 20 years to step in during an hour of need by donating food, money or gift cards for supermarkets and other stores in small denominations.
Already, residents have stepped up to fill the void; the people hurt most by the theft, Doktofsky said, are the people Toys of Hope assists.
“We need to stand strong,” she said.
For more information on making a donation, visit www.toysofhope.org/you_can_help.html. Donations can also be dropped off in person during daytime hours at 640 New York Ave., Huntington from noon-7 p.m.