Local News

Thieves Steal Van Loaded With Toys For The Needy

Posted December 20, 2005

— For more than 30 years, Silvia Wiggins has carried the sweet burden of delivering relief to those in need. People give, and Wiggins delivers.

But on Monday, the business of charity at Raleigh's Helping Hand Mission took a major blow when someone helped themselves to the charity's van -- for the second time in a year -- filled with Christmas gifts for needy children.

"We had them lined up to deliver, and when we came to deliver the toys in the truck everything was gone," Wiggins said. "We went to pull the truck to do our route -- no truck to do our route."

Wiggins called police, the news spread, and in a short time, the Helping Hand got plenty of helping eyes.

"People saw sightings of the van," Wiggins said. "They say, 'I saw the van over here,' and 'I saw the van over there,' and we followed up on every lead. And finally, the last clue led us to the van."

But the thieves unloaded all the toys that were inside.

It's one delivery Wiggins hates to miss, but she is thankful that the wheels of her operation are back so that the business of helping others can move on.

"We're just so happy because this van does everything," she said. "This van hauls kids after school, it delivers toys -- we're just happy to have it back in one piece."


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