PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Hundreds of dollars’ worth of toys meant for local kids were stolen in Harrison and that’s not all the thieves got away with.
An unassuming building along the railroad tracks used to be a post office.
In recent years, it’s been Scumbag Skatepark, but never mind the name. Every holiday season, Jimmy Olson and skater friends have made it a place of holiday good will and cheer.
“We actually closed the skate park three years ago, but we just open one day a year for this event. It means a lot,” Olson said.
The event is all about raising money to buy toys and collect toy donations for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
This year’s annual event was held over the weekend.
“Guess we had about 100 people this year. You pay $10 to get in or donate a toy,” Olson said. “We had about two bins full of toys.”
The next morning Olsen and friends returned to the building and were stunned.
“When we turned on the lights all the toys were missing, the security system had been ripped apart and broken, a lot of my tools and welding equipment were stolen as well,” Olson said.
For Olson, the fact that tools valued at $2,000 were stolen and his security system was destroyed is one thing. He understands crime happens. But, stealing the toys is another thing entirely.
“Just can’t believe they’d steal from charity. It’s sickening,” Olsen said.
Bob Zylinski lives next door to the building. He thinks what Olsen does is fantastic and is disgusted by the theft.
“There must really be a Grinch because – I would never think that would happen. I know stuff happens all the time, people say that, but I truly wouldn’t think someone would come and steal the little kids’ toys,” Zylinski said.
Olson said the tradition will continue, but more than likely in a new venue.
“I’ve had graffiti out there, broken windows, it’s always kind of been a problem neighborhood, but this will probably be the last event out there,” Olsen said.
Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the theft.