NORMAN — Darrell Weaver said there is nothing he likes better than “taking from the bad guys and giving it to the good guys.”
Wednesday, that's exactly what Weaver — director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control — did. Only in this case, the good guys were children. Weaver presented 15 electronic gaming systems and two iPod Classics to patients at the J.D. McCarty Center.
The center serves children with developmental disabilities.
The items were seized from a shoplifting ring in 2009.
Weaver said the agency tried to give them back to the Chicago-based store where they were stolen, but couldn't because the store already had collected insurance money on them.
Weaver said seized items typically are sold at auction, but this time he wanted to do something different.
“I have an 11-year-old son, and I know how much kids like electronic games,” he said.
Through the years, Weaver said, the drug enforcement agency has given some items to local law enforcement agencies or other state agencies, “but of all the things I've given away, nothing has given me as much pleasure as this.”
Excited children were eager to unbox the gaming systems and begin playing with them.
“Thank you, thank you. I love this thing,” said Bradley, a patient.
Vicki Kuestersteffen, McCarty Center director, said many of the center's children don't have an opportunity to have these kinds of items.
“Things other kids take for granted are so special to these kids. This is just an amazing experience for them and will create wonderful memories for them,” Kuestersteffen said.
“Can I play with this?” a child asked Weaver.
“You can play, play, play, all you want,” he said.