By Julia Marnin
Source The Charlotte Observer
Hundreds of bulletproof vests headed for Ukraine were stolen in New York City amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country, police say.
Several local police departments donated the bulletproof vests to the nonprofit Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America in Manhattan, The Associated Press reported.
About 400 vests were taken by an unknown suspect, or suspects, before a burglary was reported the morning of March 16, NYPD Det.V Denise Moroney confirmed to McClatchy News.
No arrests have been made and “the investigation is ongoing,” Moroney said.
The doors of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America building were forced open and it’s believed the theft occurred overnight into Wednesday, CBS reported.
“It is despicable that someone would break into a building (and) steal supplies and materials intended to aid those affected by this humanitarian crisis,” Vicki DiStefano, a spokesperson for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, told McClatchy News in a statement.
The Long Island sheriff’s office is among the police departments “donating tactile items to help the war-struck people of Ukraine” with the support of organizations such as the Ukrainian Committee Congress of America, DiStefano said.
She couldn’t confirm whether the stolen vests were ones that the sheriff’s office had already donated.
In Ukraine, 691 civilians have died and 1,143 more have been injured in the conflict as of March 15, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Additionally, 3.1 million refugees have fled into neighboring countries in Europe as of March 16.
President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” on March 16, CNN reported.
“The world is united in our support for Ukraine — and in our determination to make Putin pay a very heavy price for attacking Ukraine,” Biden wrote March 16 on Twitter.
McClatchy News reached out to the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America for comment on March 17 and was awaiting a response.
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