LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A donation jar used to collect money for leukemia research was stolen from a 7-Eleven on Long Island and police have now released a photo of the suspect.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, the suspect was caught on surveillance video swiping the donation jar from the Lindenhurst convenience store around 10 p.m. on Monday.
Isabella Pine’s photo was on the jar. The 8-year-old died in October 2012.
“We put the donation jar on the counter right after my daughter had passed away. She was diagnosed with AML leukemia and she passed away five days later,” Isabella’s mother Dianne Pine told Hall.
“My biggest fear when she passed, is that people would forget her,” Pine told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Pine is also the 7-Eleven store manager. She said more than $11,000 was raised for cancer research since the jar was put at the front of the store.
At the time the jar was swiped, there was about $75 inside.
The Leukemia Lymphoma Society said it depends on the funds from Isabella’s jar, McLogan reported.
“The leukemia foundation needs their help–those donations. I mean, we all put a nickel in the jar, a dollar there,” cancer survivor Patty Manzo said.
Customers expressed outrage over the theft. “I went to her wake – this little girl – it was a shock…I am so upset, I can’t picture a human being doing this,” 7-Eleven customer Mary Ann Beck said.
Police say the suspect may have been buying coffee, turned and grabbed the jar, put it under his coat, and ran out the door, McLogan reported.
“I don’t know how to explain it. I felt my whole body get hot and I just got an angry feeling,” said Pine. “I think the part that hurt me the most is the fact that he took the can that had a picture of my daughter on it.”
Members of a police philanthropy organization pledged to replace the stolen money and more, McLogan reported.
“We are going to run a spartan race in Tuxedo, N.Y. and the funds we raise are going to the Leukemia Society in this lady’s daughter’s name – Isabella,” said police officer John Farley, of the First Precinct Brotherhood Club.
“To make the donations and do it in memory of Isabella is just awesome,” Pine said after learning the news.
So far, no arrests have been made.
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