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Time Warp Tuesday: Package Delivery

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"Woman allegedly stole packages from front steps for gifts to her children" by Olivia Quintana Globe Correspondent  December 20, 2016

A Whitman mother of four who allegedly stole dozens of packages from the front steps of homes in Whitman, Abington, and Hanson was held without bail Tuesday.

Kathy Lyden, 43, allegedly took about 60 packages containing merchandise worth about $2,800, Whitman Deputy Police Chief Timothy Hanlon said. She told police she needed the items to give to her children as Christmas presents, Hanlon said. Lyden has four children, ages 9, 14, 15, and 21.

“We just did a toy drive with the Whitman area toy drive,” Hanlon said. “There were resources out there she could have reached out to, and she didn’t have to resort to stealing.”

Lyden was allegedly stealing packages from a home Monday when a neighbor saw her and took photographs of her truck, Hanlon said. The neighbor brought the pictures to police, who tracked the vehicle to Lyden’s home in Whitman.

Police told Lyden why they had come, and she asked if she could return the packages, Hanlon said. When police went to arrest Lyden, she began to struggle, and allegedly struck two officers with her fist, the Plymouth district attorney’s office said in a statement. The officers had to use a taser on her, the office said.

In an interview with police, Lyden allegedly admitted to stealing packages at least twice on Monday.

Lyden was arraigned Tuesday in Brockton District Court on charges of resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer, and larceny, prosecutors said.

Lyden is awaiting a January trial for drug possession and intent to distribute. She had been out on bail awaiting trial.

She wasn't doing it for her kids; she was doing it to feed her habit.

While out on bail, Lyden was ordered to undergo drug testing, but has missed 11 drug tests, prosecutors said.

Lyden was ordered held without bail on the pending drug case. She will return to court on Jan. 11.


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"Woman accused of stealing children’s Christmas gifts from ‘Toys for Tots’" by Samantha Schmidt Washington Post  December 22, 2016

Grady Judd, Polk County sheriff, said, ‘‘This is the Grinch.’’

The woman, Tammy Strickland, 38, is accused of taking part in a scam to steal toys from ‘‘Toys for Tots,’’ a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve to distribute toys to children whose parents cannot afford them for Christmas.

After receiving a tip, detectives learned that Strickland — a former volunteer with the charitable organization — had submitted counterfeit applications for children’s toys, using 140 fictitious children’s names and 28 fictitious adult names.

Through a search warrant in Strickland’s home, detectives found 118 unwrapped toys, which a witness in the home said were from ‘‘Toys for Tots,’’ Judd said. Detectives determined she submitted some fictitious applications for ‘‘Toys for Tots’’ in 2015, the same year she volunteered as a route coordinator for the organization, picking up toys from various local businesses.

In an undercover sting, detectives arranged to meet the woman at a ‘‘Toys for Tots’’ warehouse Monday for her to collect the donated toys for the applications she had submitted. She drove to the warehouse in a 2005 Cadillac Escalade to load the toys onto a utility trailer. 

There must not be a lot of crime in Polk County.

‘‘Do you hear me?’’ Judd reiterated in the news conference. ‘‘She drove up in her Cadillac.’’

Detectives told Strickland her bail would amount to about $180,000, to which she responded ‘‘well, I guess I’m not going anywhere,’’ Judd said.

‘‘Well yeah, Tammy, you are going someplace,’’ Judd said. ‘‘You are going where we lock up Grinches. It’s called the county jail, or Grinch city.’’

‘‘And Tammy,’’ he added. ‘‘You’re going to eat pressed turkey on Christmas morning.’’ 

Why does he seem so gleeful and mean about this? Where is his Christmas spirit?

It is unclear what exactly the woman — who has children of her own — was doing with the toys after obtaining them, Judd said. Strickland, who owns an income tax preparation services company in Auburndale, Fla., had previously advertised giving away toys to her customers, Judd said. The investigation is ongoing and other charges are possible.

During the news conference, Judd motioned to a table that displayed the various toys authorities seized from Strickland’s house.

‘‘There would have been 140 children going without Christmas this year because of her ugly attitude,’’ Judd said.

The holiday spirit was evident at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, especially on its Twitter and Facebook accounts, which show a photo of Judd in a Santa Claus hat, and include multiple posts with lyrics to Christmas songs written primarily in emoji. To publicize Tuesday’s news conference, the office also posted an image on Facebook of reporters alongside a Photoshopped elf.

‘‘We’re excited that she’s in jail,’’ Judd said. ‘‘It makes my Christmas a happy Christmas.’’

I wonder if he received visits from three spirits.


UPDATEPorch pirates playing Grinch on your holidays? What to do when online presents are stolen.