Parlier mother turns son in for cancer donation jar theft

FRESNO, Calif.

Surveillance video shows what appears to be two men at the checkout counter at the "U Save Market" in Parlier Tuesday. One suspect buys an item and when the cashier turns her back, the other takes the donation jar.

"I don't know my intentions took over man. Just, I don't know it's really hard to explain because it's like something I wouldn't really do. I really think twice about everything I do and this is really confusing myself." said the teenager.

Turns out the person who committed the theft is actually just 16 years old. His mother did not want us to show his face on camera but tells Action News she was stunned and shocked to hear that her son had done such a thing. The mother took her son to the police station Wednesday after friends told him that he had stolen a donation jar intended for cancer patients.

"I didn't know at all. It had nothing marked on it. It just a container full of money so I didn't know. If I would have known, if I would have seen it sticking in my face. No doubt about it I would have left it there." said the teenager.

Store owner Alice Yamamoto says the jar contained roughly $500 dollars in coins and bills. She says she's not as upset about the theft after learning who actually took it.

"Well kids will be kids. I just assumed it was probably an impulsive thing. He just maybe saw it and wasn't thinking." said Yamamoto.

She handed the surveillance video over to Parlier police Wednesday -- who then gave Action News a copy.

"We appreciate the broadcast from Channel 30 which certainly played a factor resolving this crime." said Lt. David Cerda.

There is a new donation jar at the grocery store. Yamamoto hopes people will continue to fill it up. Meanwhile the teen promises to pay the money back among other things.

"I'm writing a letter to just let the store owner know that I do have remorse for what I did." said the teenager.

The teenager did not tell us how he spent all that money in one day. He's charged with petty theft and will have to appear in Juvenile Court.

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