Local News

Man Steals Money From Girl Scouts Outside Wal-Mart

Posted February 19, 2008 6:42 p.m. EST
Updated February 19, 2008 9:26 p.m. EST

— Fayetteville police are looking for the man who stole from a couple of girl scouts. The thief got away with $600 as the young scouts looked on.

Erin Gillum, 9, and Charlene Penick, 10, were selling cookies Sunday afternoon outside the Wal-Mart at 1550 Skibo Rd. when they say a man kept lingering about.

“At one point in time, he came over and looked like he was about to buy something, but his phone rang,” Erin said.

“He walked over and sort of stared at the cookies for awhile," Charlene said.

Then the man went for the metal tray of cash.

“And for half a second, I stood still, but then I ran after him. But my mom told me to come back," Charlene said.

The scouts' mothers, along with a few bystanders, also chased the thief.

“Absolutely, and if I could have caught him, I would have done ugly things," mother Jennifer Penick said.

In the end, the man made off with the scouts' money, leaving folks asking what kind of person would steal from children?

“I don’t know. I would like to think the best. My daughter said that he must have really needed the money, but I don’t know. I think he just saw some quick cash,” mother Debbie Gillum said.

The money raised by Girl Scout Troop 485 was going to pay for a trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens.

The regional Girl Scout Council said the girls will not have to make up the stolen money. Donations have also poured in from people in community to help make up for the lost funds.

Fayetteville police obtained surveillance video of the theft, but had not released it Tuesday afternoon.