Grinch aids Edison officers in toy drive

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EDISON — It “stink, stank, and stunk” as township cops arrested the foul one himself “The Grinch” as he attempted to steal Christmas from a township home.

Now, the infamous Dr. Seuss character must do community service for his crimes — help the Edison Police Department collect toys for the Toys for Tots program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, which distributes toys to underprivileged children, and spread holiday cheer throughout the sprawling Central Jersey town.

The Grinch is a fictional character created by Dr. Seuss. He is best known as the main character of the children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

The Grinch’s arrest and municipal court appearance were captured in a parody video that turned arresting Officers Chris Gadomski and Keith Jackson into social media celebrities, racking up more than 15,000 hits within 48 hours on the Edison Police Department’s Facebook page.

Starting Nov. 29, the Grinch’s portable jail cell will be hauled throughout Edison on a fire truck, making stops in various neighborhoods so he can greet and be photographed with children of all ages.

Parents who bring their children to meet the Grinch are asked to donate a new, unwrapped toy for the Edison’s annual Toys For Tots drive. Officers will distribute those toys to children at JFK Hospital and The Lakeview School for children with disabilities, both in Edison, and to women’s shelters in the area.

“Good police work is about more than enforcing the law,” Police Chief Thomas Bryan said. “It’s about engaging our community and having some fun. Using the Grinch to spread holiday cheer and to collect Toys For Tots while our police officers interact with parents and children is positive, proactive police work.”

Mayor Thomas Lankey said he is proud of the imaginative way the township police department is going beyond the customary call-of-duty during the holiday season.

“They are entertaining families and providing holiday gifts for some of our most deserving children,” he said.

Bryan had a sobering message for any real Grinches or “porch-pirates” who might try to swipe deliveries from people’s front doors in the coming weeks.

“Our police department has stepped up neighborhood patrols and our officers are on the lookout for criminal activity,” he said. “Perpetrators caught ‘stealing Christmas’ from any Edison residence will not be treated like a Dr. Seuss character. They probably will not be home for holidays.”

The Grinch’s schedule, between 5–10 p.m. Nov. 29 to Dec. 7, is posted on the police department’s Facebook page or people can call 732-248-7575.