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Three accused in Toys for Tots Foundation theft ring

Posted at 8:36 AM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 09:28:10-05

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story said four people were charged in connection with the case. Four people are accused, but charges were dropped against Paul Lambert after he died earlier this year, according to the Attorney General's office. The story has been corrected.

TUCSON, Ariz. - Four suspects are facing charges in the bust of a burglary ring that targeted the Toys for Tots Foundation.

According to state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Gustavo Chavez, Lloyd Jorgenson, Paul Lambert and Melinda Stewart face charges that include burglary, theft, trafficking in stolen property, conspiracy and illegally conducting an enterprise.

Chavez was arraigned recently, while the other suspects were indicted in the summer. Lambert died earlier this year and charges were dismissed, the Attorney General's office said.

The investigation relates to a donation of thousands of toy cars from the estate of James Robert Evans to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation in early 2016.

In May 2017, Jorgenson allegedly stole military-style footlockers filled with thousands of the toys from Hereford. He worked with the others to hide, transport and sell the footlockers and the toys.

The FBI recovered 42 of the footlockers, but several remain missing. Those with information should call 623-466-1999 or leave a tip online.

For information about donating to the Marine Toys for Tots Program, click here.

If you'd like to give to Toys for Tots in Cochise County, they ask that you drop all donations at 4226 Avenida Cochise in Sierra Vista.