NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Toys for needy kids were stolen recently, and police said the man who did it worked directly with the families he was taking from.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, holiday toy drives create office cheer and bring out the best in us most of the time – but sadly, not always.READ MORE: New York Relaxes Most COVID-19 Restrictions After Reaching 70% Vaccination Rate; Cuomo: 'A Momentous Day'
A worker at the New York City Housing Authority is charged with larceny and possessing stolen goods that police say he grabbed more than once from charity collection boxes in the hallways of the NYCHA offices at 250 Broadway.
“There was indeed an employee who was stealing toys,” said NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly.
NYCHA bosses confirmed that housing assistant M.D. Hossain, 40, can be seen on surveillance video raiding three different toy collection boxes in a single day.
A co-worker noticed something was wrong.
“A couple of weeks ago, an employee who had just given a toy walked by later in the day and said the toy was no longer in the bin, and just asked what was up with that,” Kelly said.
“This is literally like the worst person in the world,” said NYCHA chair and chief executive officer Shola Olatoye. “We have no tolerance for that kind of behavior.”
“That’s not what we call kosher where I come from,” said Liz Stonehill of Midwood, Brooklyn.READ MORE: Fireworks Honor Essential Workers As New York Lifts Most COVID Restrictions
“It’s a disgrace, you know, and he shouldn’t have done that, and I hope he gets fired,” said Joe Rappa of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Hossain is suspended pending the outcome of his criminal case. CBS2 looked for him but did not find him at his last known addresses, and calls to his attorney were not returned.
The stolen items included a toy school bus, a Nerf football, a microphone and Matchbox cars.
But after people learned of the thefts, something great happened — donations increased.”
“It renewed attention to it and renewed dedication to make it successful,” Kelly said.
Now with even more toys, NYCHA will begin handing them out to 400 families starting next week.
Hossain is due back in court Jan. 19.MORE NEWS: COVID Restrictions Lifted: Yankee Stadium Returns To Full Capacity Friday
Hossain’s job as a housing assistant involved dealing directly with NYCHA residents, verifying their incomes and reviewing their documents.