Polk County Deputies Arrest ‘Grinch’ That Stole From Toys For Tots
Polk County deputies have arrested a woman they refer to as a ‘Grinch’ for allegedly stealing toys from ‘Toys for Tots’.
Tammy Strickland, of Eagle Lake, was arrested after detectives say she filed 28 fake applications to get free toys from the organization. Strickland is a former volunteer for Toys for Tots.
On Tuesday morning Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd held a press conference to go over the details in this case. He said that if Strickland had gotten away with it, she would have potentially kept toys that should have gone to more than 140 children.
Here’s what happened. Detectives received a tip that Strickland was keeping toys that were intended for children in need. When detectives began investigating the case they realized that Strickland had submitted a large number of applications requesting help from the organization on behalf more than 100 children.
On those applications Strickland had listed herself as the contact person. Detectives said she used 140 fictitious children’s names and 28 fictitious adult names to fill out and submit the false applications to Toys for Tots.
On Monday undercover detectives arrested Strickland when she arrived to the Toys for Tots warehouse to collect the toys. She loaded a utility trailer full of toys before being arrested. Her 2005 Cadillac Escalade was seized.
Here’s Tammy Strickland getting arrested yesterday when she came to Toys For Tots to pick up bags of toys for 140 fake kids she made up. pic.twitter.com/aYHd6XtuV7
— Ryan Raiche (@ryanraiche) December 20, 2016
Police say Strickland has been charged with Grand Theft, 28 counts of Providing False Statement to Obtain Credit/Property, Obtain Property by Fraud, and 164 counts of Create/Use/Possess Counterfeit/Fictitious Identification.
At the news conference on Tuesday toys that had been collected from Strickland’s home were on display. Detectives believe those toys were stolen from 2015 to 2016.
According to Sheriff Judd, Strickland had also been collecting government assistance.
Strickland is behind held at the Polk County Jail.