The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 8, 2011

Christie’s curiosities scattered in Duquesne

By Alexandra Nicolas

DUQUESNE, Mo. — Amid the rubble in Duquesne, residents and search-and-rescue teams have been discovering items of ... well ... a personal nature.

A very personal nature.

Tommy Kitch, Duquesne police chief, said some of the contents of Christie’s Toy Box, including “articles of clothing and other battery-operated items,” were found among the debris in Duquesne, just east of the store.

“It’s a glimpse into people’s lives that we would rather not have,” Kitch said with a laugh.

Christie’s Toy Box, 2111 S. Range Line Road, was destroyed by the May 22 tornado.

The store, which brands itself as a place “where the fun begins,” is part of a chain based in Oklahoma City. It sells sex toys, costumes, “lotions and potions,” and fetish gear, as well as those “battery-operated items.” Christie’s also operates outlets in Oklahoma and Texas.

Calls to store officials in Oklahoma City were not returned Tuesday or Wednesday.

The majority of the items were discovered along 24th Street by members of search-and-rescue teams, who initially brought their discoveries to Kitch’s attention.

Some of the ... um ... curiosities, with and without packaging, have been found by Duquesne residents.

“We’re not sure if they’re household items or if they’re items from Christie’s Toy Box,” Kitch said. “It’s something you don’t see every day.”

On Tuesday, more than two weeks after the storm, residents and recovery workers cleaning up in the area around 24th Street in Duquesne said they hadn’t come across any more of the erotic fallout.

Kitch also said about a dozen items, possibly from the store, have been turned in at the police station, and officers are trying to handle them carefully and discreetly.

Police are advising anyone who encounters such objects to take precautions when handling them and to treat them, “to be blunt, like any biohazard,” Kitch said

One more worry

TOMMY KITCH, Duquesne police chief, said among the things found in the tornado debris have been a number of firearms for which police haven’t been able to find the owners.