Police Arrest Man Suspected of Robbing Girl Scout Outside Clairemont Vons - NBC Southern California

Police Arrest Man Suspected of Robbing Girl Scout Outside Clairemont Vons

This is the second time this week a Girl Scout has been robbed selling cookies.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A mother and daughter selling Girl Scout cookies outside of a Clairemont Square Vons were robbed Sunday when a man grabbed their cash box and ran. NBC 7’s Alex Presha reports. (Published Monday, March 13, 2017)

    Police arrested a man suspected of robbing a Girl Scouts' cash box in front of a Clairemont Square Vons Sunday, San Diego police (SDPD) said.

    All of the stolen money has since been replaced with donations from the community, according to Girl Scouts San Diego.

    A mother and daughter were selling Girl Scout cookies when a man grabbed their cash box and ran.

    Erik Mullen, age 28, was arrested and booked into San Diego Central Jail at 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, said SDPD officers. He was held on a bail amount of $20,000 and accused of several charges.

    That includes misdemeanors such as petty theft, receiving stolen property and drug possession, as well as a felony charge of possessing a false check with the intent to defraud, according to the SDPD.

    Deema Hayward and her daughter Leyla had around $400 in their cash box when a man came up, grabbed the box and ran off. 

    Leyla was just 100 boxes away from her 1,000 box goal. She has sold cookies for the last four years. Every year she's surpassed her goal.

    “I think it’s horrible just to steal from anybody, but to steal from a child who has been working so hard day after day to meet their goal, it’s just horrible,” Deema Hayward told NBC 7. “She goes out every day door to door, booth sale after booth sale trying to reach her goal." 

    The incident happened at approximately 3:11 p.m. Sunday on Clairemont Drive near Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, police said. 

    People at a nearby Jamba Juice saw what was happening and ran after the suspect. One person tackled the man, but he escaped. The man dropped his cell phone in the process. 

    "It’s more just disappointing that someone would ever do that," Leyla said. "You know that it is possible and stuff, but you just don’t think it’s going to happen. I try and I really work hard so I just wish people didn’t do that."

    This is the second time this week a Girl Scout has been robbed selling cookies. Last Tuesday, someone used counterfeit bills to pay for cookies in La Mesa.

    Girl Scouts San Diego said no other theft of cookie funds was reported to them.

    "We are grateful for the community's compassionate response to the theft of cookie money from a 12-year-old member of Girl Scout Troop 4565," said the company, in a statement. "The girl involved and her mother said they have been touched by the reactions of people who were on the scene, as well as concerned individuals who learned about the incident."

    Any donations exceeding the amount lost will go to Operation Thin Mint in Troop 4565's name. That's a program that sends Girl Scout Cookies and notes of support to deployed U.S. military troops.

    If you would like to help, you can call to (619)610-0731 to make a donation.

    San Diego police say the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information can call the police at 619-531-2000, or the Crime Stoppers tip line at 888-580-8477.