Thieves Steal Over 100 Tricycles from San Francisco Firefighter Toy Drive

A broken padlock and nearly empty storage container

Don Sweeney, The Sacramento Bee


Organizers with the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program found only a broken padlock and nearly empty storage container Tuesday when they went to check on donated toys.

More than 100 tricycles, collected to be given to kids in need for the rapidly approaching holiday season, had been stolen, KGO reported.

“It’s frustrating, because we work so hard to get stuff for the kids and we are working harder because of COVID,” said volunteer coordinator Jill Peeler, KPIX reported. The stolen “trikes” were worth thousands of dollars.

“I think my only question would be why?” said organizer Sally Casazza, who discovered the theft, according to KGO. She asked for the return of the trikes “with no questions asked.”

“I can’t imagine that someone has that kind of cruelty in their hearts to do that,” said Katherine Looper, who runs the Cadillac Hotel for homeless people, according to the station. The San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program helped provide gifts for residents of the hotel last year.

The nonprofit organization began in 1949 with a few firefighters repairing broken toys to give to about 15 families in need, according to its site.

In 2019, the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program says it distributed more than 200,000 toys to 40,000 children in need.

The program also assists community programs, such as shelters for abused women and children, according to its site. More than 300 firefighters and friends volunteer each year.

The toy program can be reached at 415-777-0440 or


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