Skateboarding Thief Steals Girl Scout Cookie Money

A San Bernardino County girl scout troop was packing up for the day when a teenager rolled by on a skateboard, grabbing a bag of money

By Chloe Stepney and Jacob Rascon
|  Monday, Mar 4, 2013  |  Updated 10:53 PM PDT
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Surveillance video from a Stater Brothers store in San Bernardino County captured a skateboarder before he snatched a bag of money from a troop of Girl Scouts. The troop was hoping to use the money earned for a trip to Disneyland. Jacob Rascon reports from Phelan for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 4, 2013.

Jacob Rascon

Surveillance video from a Stater Brothers store in San Bernardino County captured a skateboarder before he snatched a bag of money from a troop of Girl Scouts. The troop was hoping to use the money earned for a trip to Disneyland. Jacob Rascon reports from Phelan for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 4, 2013.

Photos and Videos

Caught on Video: Skateboarding Thief

Surveillance video at a Stater Brothers store in Phelan captured a skateboarder before he grabbed a money bag from a Girl Scouts' table. Raw Video
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A man riding on a skateboard snatched more than $400 from a Girl Scout troop Sunday as he rolled by their cookie stand at a San Bernardino County grocery store.

Late Monday, authorities arrested Colin Sawyer, 20, of Phelan, in connection with the theft, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

A pair of deputies spotted the man -- surveillance video of whom was broadcast across media outlets, including on NBC4 and NBCLA.com -- about 7:20 p.m. at a gas station in Phelan. Sawyer was taken into custody without incident, authorities said.

After a full day of selling cookies outside of a Stater Brothers store in Phelan, the scouts began breaking down their selling stand, police said.

They were nearly done with the task when a man, who had lingered near the girls' stand, reached out and grabbed their money bag, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Cpl. Randy Naquin said

One of the girls ran after the thief, but fell down while running and suffered minor scrapes.

"My sister put the money on the table, and as fast as he can, he took the money and ran off," said Victoria, a Girl Scout who declined to give her last name. "My first instinct was to run after him."

The young girl issued a plea to the robber Monday afternoon: "He should turn himself in, because it will make him feel better. Just learn from really bad mistakes."

A nearby eatery donated 20 percent of Monday's profits to Girl Scout Troop 1303, and patrons have been giving a little extra to the victimized troop.

The girls lost $460 in the heist, according to the troop.

Earlier in the day, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said the thief made off with $552.

Officials originally identified the suspect as a juvenile, but later identified him as 20-year-old Sawyer.

The Girl Scouts told sheriff's investigators that they do not know the person who stole their money, Naquin said.

Stater Brothers shared surveillance footage (embedded below) with the Sheriff’s Department which was in turn published and aired across media outlets.

"Phelan is a very small community, and pretty much everybody knows each other," said Naquin.

If convicted, Sawyer faces punishment that could include up to six months behind bars and a $1,000 fine.

As for the money, the girls were going to use it to pay for a trip to Disneyland, and they were close to reaching their goal. But not all is lost.

The Girl Scouts Council for the area is going to absorb the loss, and the girls will get to take that trip after all.

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