A good Samaritan took pity on a Girl Scout and gave her $100 after a man gave her a phony $100 bill in front of a Southern California grocery store this week, the girl's mother and the Girl Scouts of Orange County said Tuesday.
The man made off with $75 on Sunday after paying a Costa Mesa Girl Scout troop with a fake $100 bill at a Stater Bros. grocery store in Costa Mesa, police said.
After the man left with $25 worth of cookies, Launa Archer and her mother realized the bill was counterfeit. The troop was busy making sales, and Archer's mother didn't get a chance to inspect the $100 bill before the thief left, she said.
Police arrived at the grocery store, and a woman who had heard about the thief offered to pay back what the crook had stolen. She gave the troop $100.
"She said, 'I did not want your daughter to have a bad Girl Scout experience, so please take this money,'" said Archer's mother.
Parents and scouts should not take any bills over $20, said the Girl Scouts of Orange County. Troops receive training and information to protect them from counterfeit bills.
"Unfortunately, we occasionally hear that such a bill was received," said the Girl Scouts of Orange County in a statement. "Our hope is that this unfortunate incident translates into a learning opportunity."
The Costa Mesa Police Department has not identified the suspect, said Lt. Paul Beckman.