400 bulletproof vests destined for Ukraine stolen from New York City charity

About 400 bulletproof vests were stolen from a New York City charity this week
About 400 bulletproof vests were stolen from a New York City charity this week (Picture: Google Maps)

About 400 bulletproof vests that were collected to be donated to people in were stolen from a New York City charity, police said Wednesday.

The vests, bound for war-torn Ukraine, were taken overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday from a nonprofit organization that has been collecting tactical gear to send to Ukrainian citizens.

The items were intended to be used by civilian security and medical teams, including Ukrainian citizens who joined the fight against the Russian military.

Used vests, donated by local law enforcement in New York, were stolen from the offices of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America in Manhattan on Wednesday.

Police responded to a call of a burglary around 9.15am and ‘were informed that approximately 400 bullet proof vests that were removed from the location,’ New York City Police Department Sargent Edward Riley said.

Security-camera footage taken from a business next door showed three vans pulling up outside the building, one after another, with men in hoods carrying out boxes believed to be containing the vests, putting them into the vehicles and then driving away, WNBC-TV reported.

Hundreds of used bulletproof vests have been donated by police in the New York City Metropolitan area to be sent out to Ukraine to help those fighting off Russia’s invasion.

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office on Long Island said it worked with the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America to donate 450 used, decommissioned vests. The office could not confirm that the vests that were stolen were the ones it donated.

That particular office stops using the vests after five years, but officials have ensured that they remain sturdy enough to provide ample protection in the war-zone.

‘It is despicable that someone would break into a building to steal supplies and materials intended to aid those affected by this humanitarian crisis,’ said Vicki DiStefano, a spokesperson for Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr.

The donated vests were supposed to be shipped by air to Poland and then transported into Ukraine, according to Andrij Dobriansky, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine quickly launched an effort to raise funds to replace the stolen vests and shared a link to donate from the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America to .

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