NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — After seeing surveillance footage of a thief swiping a donation jar from a store counter in Lindenhurst, local residents went on a mission to help police track down a suspect.
Now, the community has replaced the stolen jar and its contents which were earmarked for a little boy with a big heart and the hospital that saved him.
Anthony Mainini’s parents say that he’s a walking miracle, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
At one time he was on life support but was saved by multiple open heart surgeries. Since then the Mainini’s model has been to give back.
Anthony’s parents own the local beverage store in Lindenhurst. As a ‘thank you’ for saving their son’s life, the Mainini’s collected donations for New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at Columbia.
“Gonna help all the people who are sick in the children’s hospital, like me,” Anthony said.
Lindenhurst residents recognized the suspect in the surveillance footage and notified police. Their tips led to the arrest of 49-year-old Thomas Campion.
Each day since has brought new acts of kindness.
“The outpouring from the community has touched our hearts more than anyone could imagine and ‘thank you’ sometimes doesn’t feel like enough,” Teresa Mainini said.
An entire team of little leaguers spent the weekend fundraising to replace the stolen money.
“It’s amazing to see everyone coming together in a bad time like this and all pitch in,” Tony Mainini said.
Anthony thinks that the crime will be a teaching moment for him and the burglar.
“Praying for him every night. We think he is going to do a good thing from now on,” he said.
Anthony still faces a heart valve replacement surgery, but is not thinking of himself, he told his parents that it’s the suspect who needs prayers to get better.
Thomas Campion told said that he will plead not guilty at his arraignment in April.
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