General Crime

* Gift Card Theft at Manzanita Recreation Center’s Child Development Center in Marin City

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The loss from the theft of donated holiday gifts at the Manzanita Recreation Center’s Child Development Center in Marin City over the weekend is less than was initially estimated, a center official said this morning. Children’s center director Ruth Nenaber said she initially told the Marin County Sheriff’s Office on Monday that as much as $1,000 worth of gift cards and presents for 100 families might have been stolen. However, it turns out that only four gift cards worth between $100 and $200 were taken, Nenaber said this morning.

“They tore open all the packages looking for negotiable items,” she said. “This was a desperate person and it reflects on our society that someone would have to do this to survive,” Nenaber said.  Nenaber and Pablo Collaco, chair of the Manzanita Recreation Center’s board of directors, said media attention given to the theft has blown it out of proportion.

“We don’t want to shine a negative light on our beautiful community,” Nenaber said. “Marin City has too much negative input, and we don’t want to highlight it,” Collaco said. Nenaber said she turned away reporters from two television news stations who wanted to interview her today. The center has been collecting and distributing presents for low-income families for 10 years, Nenaber said.

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