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50 backpacks meant for underprivileged children never delivered

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OGDEN - Fifty backpacks meant for less-fortunate schoolchildren are missing.

The backpacks - part of a donation drive to help 1,000 lower-income kids - were being held at Weber State University. They were meant to go to Catholic Community Services.

According to police, a man walked into the campus bookstore and told employees he was there to pick up the load of backpacks. The employees even helped him load the backpacks into his car before he drove away.

But police say the backpacks never made it to the charity.

If somebody did steal those backpacks, that would be really despicable.

–Michael Vaughan

"Right now, the best evidence is that the backpacks didn't make their way down to the donation drop off and didn't find a way to the schoolchildren," said donation organizer Michael Vaughan, Weber State's provost over Academic Affairs.

Vaughan says he doesn't want to believe the bags were stolen, though the story doesn't seem to add up.

"It would be quite disturbing to find out that somebody actually stole the backpacks," he said. "Right now I think I'm going to suspend judgment."

Since the charity donation drive is already over, it appears the man in question didn't intend to bring them to Catholic Community Services.

"If somebody did steal those backpacks, that would be really despicable," said Vaughan.

Charity volunteers and employees have all been shown a picture of the man who took the backpacks, but no one knows who he is.

"Certainly there were only a handful of individuals who seem to have had knowledge about the donation and the intent," said WSU spokesman John Kowalewski.

Police want to track down the man who loaded the backpacks into his car. Until they speak with him, though, they say they aren't calling this a theft.

"There is a possibility that this is just a case of a misunderstanding or a communication issue," said Kowalewski.

Weber State did manage to collect another 50 backpacks in time for school, so the kids did end up with the supplies they needed.


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Mike Anderson


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