Man pleads guilty in Ohio Toys for Tots break-in
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 22 August 2013 06:31

CINCINNATI (AP) — A man accused of a Grinch-like crime pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of breaking and entering.

Jesse Simpson, 27, of Covington, Ky., broke into a Toys for Tots warehouse in the early morning hours of Dec. 24, 2011, authorities said. He and an accomplice took tens of thousands of dollars' worth of toys collected in the annual U.S. Marine Corps drive for needy children, police said.

Authorities say the pair stayed busy throughout Christmas Eve, taking the toys to Kentucky and also to a storage unit in St. Bernard, which borders Cincinnati. St. Bernard Police Detective Mike Matheson said authorities recovered most of haul, with some $30,000 worth of toys found packed tightly into the storage unit. Other toys were recovered from a residence and car.

Matheson said Simpson and the other man also sold and traded the toys, and gave some to their own children.

"That's the thing that kind of hurts. There were little kids involved in this," Matheson said. "We had to take things that they gave their kids, because they were stolen."

The Cincinnati Enquirer ( ) reported that authorities are still trying to determine how many toys were taken in all. Police said they received a tip about the toy heist soon after Christmas 2011.

The stolen items included dolls and board games, along with a microwave and small refrigerator that belonged to Marines, authorities said.

Simpson pleaded guilty to three breaking and entering counts, while two theft charges were dropped. He faces up to three years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 23.

Attorney Jason Arenstein said he had no comment on the case. Simpson remained jailed under $135,000 bond.

Court records show that his alleged accomplice remains at large.


Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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