CLEVELAND — A grandfather is making a plea after a man walked into a local beverage store and stole a donation jar full of money. The good news, the whole incident was caught on tape.
Old Brooklyn near Westside Beverage and Deli is like most neighborhoods around town.
“It is kind of a quiet neighborhood,” said Phillip Braine, an employee at Westside Beverage and Deli.
But on Sunday, Jan. 6, it was anything but.
Around 4 p.m., surveillance video shows a white male enter Westside Beverage and Deli to buy a beer, and while paying for the beer he glances at a donation jar sitting on the counter.
“The donation jar was sitting here for a 2-year-old little kid who had cancer,” Braine said.
The male leaves the store, moves the vehicle he was riding in to the side of the convenience store, changes shirts and re-enters the store minutes later, this time carrying a dark sweatshirt or blanket.
“He asked the guy working here for a pack of cigarettes and he went in the back to get them,” said Braine.
While the clerk turned his back, the male grabbed the donation jar and headed for the door.
“Just came in and blatantly just took it off the counter and walked out the door with it,” Braine said. “Pretty shallow thing to do.”
The jar had roughly $50 in it, but the person who stole it took more than just money.
He stole from a 2-year-old battling stage four cancer.
“My grandson that is struggling with this cancer is battling for his life,” said Mike Beesley, who put the donation jars at several locations around town.
The family has already raised $6,000 for 2-year-old Aiden through donation jars and fundraisers. Mike Beesley, Aiden’s grandfather, has one message for the donation jar thief.
“If you have empathy or compassion, I hope you feel what the family and what everybody else is feeling that made these donations and love him at heart,” he said.
Aiden is currently at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
He is receiving radiation treatments and his last scan showed no active tumors at this time.
If you have any information, you are urged to call Cleveland police.