WSAZ | Huntington, West Virginia | News

Theft from Ronald McDonald House

By: Carrie Cline Email
By: Carrie Cline Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Stealing from an organization that helps others -- some consider it one of the lowest forms of crime.

A man is accused, though, of stealing from an agency that helped him and his family in their darkest hour. Now, that organization is left feeling duped and distressed.

Margaret Wilson is the executive director at Huntington's Ronald McDonald House. For the first time in the organization's 25 years, they're investigating a theft by a potential resident.

“It’s distressing,” Wilson said.

The mission of the Ronald McDonald House is to give families a place to stay when their children are seriously ill in the hospital. According to the police report filed by the house, Gregory Blair, who had been staying in the house for about a week with his own child in the hospital, took more than he came with when it was time to leave.

“The Playstation was gone," Wilson said. "All of the families come to us to get the games, and when they went back to play, it was gone."

Upon further investigation, they also noticed a 32-inch plasma television, DVD player and bedspread also were missing -- almost $1,000 worth of stuff gone.

“Maybe it's a sign of the times. Our main focus is the safety of the families, and we do believe it's an isolated incident,” said Roger Rash, director of development.

The most disheartening part of this for staff is not only that someone would take from charity, but also from those who have given to charity.

“Our local owners/operators are very generous, but 75 percent of our money comes from philanthropic fundraising and donations,” Rash said.

“We would like to have our items back if anyone has any knowledge,” Wilson said.

The man and his family are from the South Solon area of Ohio. That's between Dayton and Columbus.

Police are reviewing the surveillance video and trying to track him down.


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