Store workers react to donation jar theft

Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office
Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office

By Caroline Moses - bio | email

CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - Two men left a convenience store with the $250 in donations meant to help pay medical bills for a girl in high school struggling to recover from a serious car accident.

Kelsey Lieux, a cheerleader at Central High, is still in the hospital after her car flipped on Dec. 9. It's been more than a month since that crash and her medical bills are mounting, so the community of Central has stepped up efforts to help the family out.

Tip jars are set up at several area stores for people to help the three young car accident victims. Kelsey Lieux, Michael Calamia and Ebony Watkins were all students. The jar that was snatched up sat on the counter at Frog's One Stop on Greenwell Springs Road. It was supposed to help pay Kelsey's medical costs.

"Everybody is trying to help that girl and for you to come in here and do something like that, it's just ridiculous," said Lance Buckley, a customer at the store. "She's going through a lot and it's not over yet," said Laura Wyatt, a clerk at the store.

Last Monday, two men stole the donation jar containing money meant for Kelsey. According to store workers, the men were not regular customers. Wyatt was working behind the counter when the men walked into the store around 9 p.m. She said one man asked her, but the kitchen was closed.

"He wasn't an intimidating customer. He just seemed agitated that at that point we'd already turned our equipment off and I couldn't fix him something to eat. There's no justifiable reason to do what he did," Wyatt said.

She later learned the other man grabbed the donation jar and ran. Workers at Frog's One Stop are still accepting donations, but they no longer use an open jar. They keep the containers behind the counter. They also make sure there is always at least one person monitoring the cash register.

"I seen it there and every time I see it, I just pull all the change or whatever put it in there," said Kendric Ardoin, a customer. "I want to know if they're going to start another bucket, so I can give," Buckley added.

Related Stories

Copyright 2010 WAFB. All rights reserved.