Ronald McDonald House donation jar robbed - FOX 13 News

Ronald McDonald House donation jar robbed

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office released new surveillance video Thursday of a man stealing a Ronald McDonald House donation box last week from a McDonald's restaurant on Waters Avenue.

Investigators believe the suspect committed the same crime at another McDonald's on North Armenia Avenue. He got away with more than $400 from both crimes combined.

"It's sad that he would steal money from people that desperately need it," said Cristal Bermudez Nunez, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office. "That someone who puts money into donation boxes or into collection boxes and thinks that they're [giving money to] a good cause and it ends up in the wrong hands is sad."

Alison Barrick, a spokesperson for the Ronald McDonald House, released a statement that read, in part:

"We are greatly concerned about the thefts," Barrick said. "The money raised from these donation boxes are an important part of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay's overall fundraising efforts which allow us to provide stability and vital resources to over 2,000 children and their families each year."

Ronald McDonald House helps families whose children are in the hospital for extended periods of time and often can't afford the cost of a hotel.

The thefts took some of those families who benefit from the organization by surprise.

"That's money that's gone from helping people that really need help," said Derrick Tilburg, whose family had been staying at the Ronald McDonald House in St. Petersburg. "Other families that might not get to stay because of that."

"I can't believe that somebody would take that away from children who really need it. They need the help," said Danielle Bazinet, who has been staying at the same Ronald McDonald House as Tilburg for more than two months.

Anyone with information can call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office or Tampa Police.

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