If there's a badge for courage in the face of danger, the members of a Girl Scout troop in Fort Bend County, Texas, deserve it. They tried to fight off a thief who stole their hard-earned cookie money this weekend outside a Wal-Mart.
But the girls might get sweet justice after all: Security cameras at the store captured the crime on video, and it has been turned over to law enforcement.
"Stealing from a Girl Scout? It's as low as you are going to get," Bob Haenel, spokesman for the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Department, told The Times. "I can put a lot of labels on that, but hardly any of them you can print."
Here's what authorities said happened: Girl Scouts were selling cookies outside a Wal-Mart about 1:50 p.m. on Saturday when a black Toyota Camry drove up with two male passengers. One of the males walked over and began talking to the girls, asking about the price and what cookies were available. The girls told KCTV.com that they thought they were going to ring up a sale.
"Out of nowhere he just took the whole box of money that we had and jumped in the car. Me and my friend Rachel went after the money," Girl Scout Iravia Cotton told KCTV reporters. "I started hitting the boy that was in the passenger seat." Her friend and fellow Girl Scout Rachel Johnson was dragged several feet.
The girls were shocked and a little scratched up but otherwise unhurt. They were also on the hook for the roughly $200 that was stolen. That is until news of the incident got out.
Haenel said his office had fielded phone calls from Beverly Hills, Tennessee, Colorado and elsewhere from people offering to make up the $200 shortfall.
Wal-Mart stepped in to cover the missing money, spokeswoman Dianna Gee told The Times. "It was the least we could do; it was such a shame," she said.
Actually, Wal-Mart may have provided something even more valuable: security footage.
"Our security cameras were able to capture the crime on video and we have turned it over to the authorities," Gee said.
Haenel told The Times that he hopes to release footage or photos shortly and to ask the public for help in finding the culprits. (There are clues that the robbery may have been planned: The car's license plate was covered up.)
If and when the suspects are caught, they will face aggravated robbery charges, Haenel said. If convicted, he surmises, their crime won't go over well even behind bars.
"He's going to say, 'I robbed a Girl Scout.' I imagine even in prison that is not going to sit too well," Haenel said.
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