Volunteer Stole Cash from 8-Year-Old Burn Victim's Collection of Christmas Cards: Cops
Last Christmas, Safyre Terry's wishes came true when millions of Christmas cards flooded her mailbox. But it seems some of the cash and gift certificates that should have accompanied the cards never made it to the 8-year-old arson survivor.
While volunteering for Safyre's Angels, a group dedicated to raising money for Safyre's surgeries, Kimberly Bradford, 41, was arrested and charged for stealing cash and gift certificates that accompanied the Christmas cards.
Adam Denmark, a leading volunteer at Safyre's Angels, told InsideEdition.com that Bradford had been a core member of the organization from the beginning. She was one of few that volunteered every day, he said.
Denmark said that he and other top volunteers were shocked and upset by the news.
Lt. Michael Brown told InsideEdition.com that other volunteers reported to the Rotterdam Police Department in January that there may have been theft within the Safyre's Angels organization.
Upon inspection of Bradford's home, police found a bin of opened Christmas cards, which were supposed to have remained at the headquarters.
"To steal from this child, who's been the victim of such a tragedy in the first place, is disgusting." Lt. Brown said, "You just can't get any lower."
Lt. Brown told InsideEdition.com that Bradford was found with approximately $800 in cash and $550 in gift cards, although police may never know if Bradford had stolen more: "There's just no way to track who sent what."
Bradford pled not guilty to a charge of grand larceny during an arraignment last week. The Rotterdam woman was released on $5,000 cash bail and will appear in court for her first appearence on March 10.
Early in December, Safyre's adopted family brought home a card tree, and Safyre was immediately determined to fill it with Christmas cards. Her adoptive parents, who took Safyre in after she lost her entire family in the blaze, were unsure they would meet their goal. They posted an appeal to Facebook, asking strangers to send in cards. Soon enough, cards flooded in, including a very special addition from the White House.
Safyre's goal was met and exceeded - so much so that volunteers had to begin working 12-hour shifts to sort the mail. Denmark said that up to 150 people would come in and volunteer on the weekends, including Bradford.
When Bradford was interviewed in December by NEWS10 about the organization, she read aloud some Christmas cards she had been opening and responding to, and said, "It restored faith in humanity in such a terrible time in the world."