Woman arrested for toy donations calls it a misunderstanding | News

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Woman arrested for toy donations calls it a misunderstanding

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, FL -- When you type in Wanda Lopez name on ripoffreport.com, you will find two anonymous postings.


"I feel really hurt," said Lopez.

The postings describe her as a fraud, a pageant scammer and a liar. The latest posting was December 4, the same day Lopez was arrested by Green Cove Springs police at Fred's grocery store. She is charged with petit theft.

"It is all because of what's going on with this website," she said.

Lopez said Fred's gave her permission to use the location to collect donations for toys for tots. She said the goal was to help her 10-year-old in the Miss Giving Jacksonville Pageant.

"I am a God fearing person," said Lopez. "My children come first and I would not do something to hurt them."

Lopez, a mother of eight, said five days into the toy drive the store received an anonymous call about the ripoffreport.com posting and began asking questions.

"She did not have permission to collect toys," said Manager Crystal Edge.

The location has always been a Toys for Tots location, but Lopez was not authorized to collect toys for the organization.

"This was not associated with Toys for Tots," said SSgt Phillip Greer. Greer is coordination officer for the USMC Toy for Tots campaign.

"She was collecting toys and cash to reach her goals," said Greer. "We do work with the Miss Giving Jacksonville Pageant but this was not authorized."

The store manager also said Lopez also took its decorations and all but one were returned. So where are the toys Lopez collected?

"We donated them here in Clay County," she said.

Lopez said she has had her brush with the law before, 1999 in Michigan and recently in Clay County. But she maintains her innocence in this case.

"I wasn't stealing anything it was all a misunderstanding," she said.

A misunderstanding she said she plans to fight in court and rebut on social media. She believes the person behind the postings is someone she knows and has competed with in various pageants.

In this season of giving, always check to see if the charity is registered with the state at 800helpfla.com and if the person has a permit to solicit.


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