Anonymous tip leads police to cancer donation jar thief

Updated:

Loading

OHIO TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Ohio Township police said an anonymous tip led them to a man who stole donations intended for cancer patients and local firefighters from two area businesses.

Police Chief Norbert Micklos told Channel 11's Renee Kaminski that the man, who is in his 20s, parked a Kia in front of the 7-Eleven on Neville Island and walked out of the store with a donation box intended for local firefighters.

"He was very calm. You can tell he's done this before. This wasn't his first rodeo," Micklos said. "He distracted the clerk, draped his coat over the box, picked it up and was talking to the clerk as he walked out."

Dave Kerr, a safety officer for the Neville Island Volunteer Fire Squad, said they feel as if the thief reached into their pockets.

"[We know] there was a substantial amount of money in there because we keep an eye on it," Kerr said. "To have someone walk away with it after someone might have given their last dollar of the day, that's not right."

Investigators said they believe the man is also responsible for a robbery at Panera Bread in Peters Township on Jan. 14.

According to Micklos, the man calmly walked out of the restaurant with two jars filled with donations for cancer patients.

"He didn't steal a box of change, he stole a box of good intentions," Micklos said.

Kaminski reported that the man admitted to several more crimes in Mount Lebanon, Peters Township and possibly the city of Pittsburgh.