FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A stolen trailer filled with toys for kids battling cancer has been found, the toys recovered, and two people have been charged.
The trailer belongs to Silvia Vanni who is on a mission. After losing her son to cancer, she decided to start delivering toys to other children fighting the disease. Vanni started the Mystic Force Foundation, which raises money to fund children’s cancer research. She also collects toys and takes them to the hospital.
Early Monday morning her black 2017 Freedom Trailer, filled with $5,000 worth of toys, was stolen from a driveway at 2005 North East 120th Road in North Miami.
“We worked so hard to get these toys donated and to be able to do this for these children, for somebody to just come and drive away with it, it’s heartbreaking,” Vanni said.
“Honestly I don’t think they knew what they were stealing but once they opened it up and saw the toys, and all the “Mystic Force” and “Childhood Cancer” everywhere, I don’t know how it didn’t touch their hearts and realize that they are stealing from kids with cancer. I don’t know how anybody could be that heartless,” said Vanni.
Vanni took to social media, sharing her story and a picture of the trailer. It worked, a tip led Sunrise Police to a home where they found the trailer, the toys in a shed out back.
“It was phenomenal. Most of the toys were there, I was so excited, the toys were there, I honestly did not believe we would get anything back,” said Vanni.
Dudley Merus, 30. and Endy Merus, 25, were arrested in connection with the theft and charged with grand theft.
Vannianni said she is grateful for the public’s help and her guardian angel.
“I believe that my baby was a big reason we found the trailer. He is the reason why we do these parties at the hospital, there’s nothing he liked more than a party,” said Vanni.