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Bulletproof vests to be sent to Ukraine stolen from NYC nonprofit

A police officer in front of a police car

About 400 bulletproof vests that were going to be sent to Ukraine were stolen from a nonprofit organization in New York City.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) said the vests, which were donated by local law enforcement, were stolen from the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America in Manhattan, The Associated Press reported.

Andrij Dobriansky, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, said the vests were supposed to be shipped to Poland and then sent into Ukraine. The gear would have likely been used by civilian security and medical personnel, according to the AP. 

“It is despicable that someone would break into a building to steal supplies and materials intended to aid those affected by this humanitarian crisis,” said Vicki DiStefano, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr., whose office donated some of the vests, according to the AP. 

The sheriff’s office told the AP that officers stop using the vests after five years, but they remain capable of offering full protection. 

Police departments across the country have donated extra equipment to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion into the country began, with officials in Colorado, New York and Vermont confirming that their law enforcement agencies have sent tactical gear to Ukraine, Denver 7 reported.

Tags bulletproof vests New York Police Department ukraine russia conflict

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