Police investigating massive toy theft from Salvation Army
Published Tuesday, November 20, 2012 6:17PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:45PM EST
TORONTO -- CTV News has learned the executive director of the Salvation Army’s Railside Road warehouse has been fired after an internal audit revealed millions of dollars worth of toys went missing from its warehouse.
Police are now investigating the results of the audit and no charges have been laid.
The same Salvation Army warehouse handles in-kind donations, and distributes nearly 3.4 kilograms of food and more than 140,000 toys for the annual CTV Toy Mountain campaign.
A small group of management personnel works at the warehouse alongside delivery personnel. Over the Christmas season tonnes of toys are donated, then detailed and delivered to thousands of needy children.
The investigation began when employees noticed some suspicious behaviour, and according to the Salvation Army, an internal audit found $2 million worth of toys –- about one year’s worth of donations -– were missing. The Salvation Army then took the results of their audit to police.
The investigation continues, and according to a police source, food donations are also believed to have been stolen.
Police sources say the story began to unravel earlier this year when employees allegedly noticed one of their own taking toys. The employees said they were told those toys were going to another location, but it appears that the other location didn't exist. It's unclear where those toys ended up.
David Rennie, the executive director, was suspended from his job in September after the internal investigation. On Monday he was fired.
Rennie was brought on as a consultant following a devastating fire at the Salvation Army warehouse in 2008. The hope was he could clean up the operation after millions of dollars in food and toys were destroyed.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army branch in Ottawa has asked police to investigate a possibly case of fraud.
Accountants at the branch say $240,000 is missing.
Salvation Army spokesperson John Murray said the branch has fired the executive director of the Ottawa Booth Centre, Perry Rowe.
Rowe had worked for the organization for eight years.
The investigation continues and no criminal charges have been laid.
CTV Toronto remains committed to our fundraising partners at the Salvation Army. We here at CTV are determined to build a mountain of toys for children in need.