Lafayette police searching for children's charity donation thief
Employees at MAPCO gas station in Lafayette say the donations belonged to the Children's Miracle Network.
A children's non-profit organization is missing money.
Lafayette police say a woman stole a donation container that was sitting out at a MAPCO gas station in Lafayette. Employees there say it belonged to the Children's Miracle Network.
Chief Bengie Clift says his team doesn't have many leads. Right now all they have to work with is pictures of the suspect they captured from surveillance video, but time isn't on their side.
“It’s already cold it’s been two weeks so unless we just get lucky we won’t ever catch who did it,” said Clift.
Chief Clift says this case isn't one his team is used to.
“This doesn’t happen often. I think amongst thieves there’s a bit of a moral compass; certain things you don’t mess with so it’s a little surprising [and] disappointing obviously.”
For nearly two weeks, his team has been working to identify this woman. On Tuesday just after midnight, she was captured on surveillance video inside MAPCO off North Highway 27.
The video shows her at the counter talking with the store clerk waiting to make a purchase. Seconds later, the clerk walks away and the woman reaches for a donation container.
“First she takes the label off the container and then puts the container on the top of her pocketbook and just takes it out under her arm as the clerk is kind of working and doing her job at the store,” said Clift.
The clerk eventually comes back to the counter and completes the transaction. The woman then walks off with the donations container, and gets into a white truck. Police say she was a passenger.
“She most likely isn't local which hurts us even more,” said Clift. “We don’t have any other reports. That was the only one, which also leads to maybe [she was] just passing through; crime of opportunity.”
The manager at MAPCO wasn't able to speak on camera, but says they usually always have a charity box of some sort for customers to give donations. It's not clear how much money was inside the donation container, but Chief Clift says it doesn't matter. He hopes the community will help solve this case.
Chief Clift says several people have called and messaged the police department on Facebook saying they recognize her, but haven’t had any luck.
“Anything that the community can do for [if] anybody that sees the video can help us we would greatly appreciate it, because that’s the only leads we have.”
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