Authorities are seeking help in identifying a man stealing donation jars for the Children's Miracle Network from several area businesses.
Lee's Summit police said the suspect, believed to be in his late 40s, has struck locations in Excelsior Springs, MO, Leavenworth, KS and Lee's Summit. He stole from the Walmart off Highway 291 in Lee's Summit on Oct. 26 and then again on Nov. 2.
The suspect's vehicle was described as a four-door, dark colored Saturn with no license plates.
In all of the surveillance footage, the suspect is observed wearing an Olathe East Hawks hooded sweatshirt.
Jill Garrard, executive of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals of Kansas City, was dumbfounded at the man's cold heart and that he was able to lug the heavy containers out of the stores.
"It's just very sad. The amount of money is probably not very significant, but it does help the families that we serve," Garrard said. "Obviously the suspect is very brazen and bold."
The money is used to help provide medical care. Shoppers, store employees and others toss change and bills into the containers.
"The donation container itself is a fairly large container. It's about four feet tall," said Lee's Summit Police Department Officer Beth Glover. "In the surveillance video, you can see that he struggles to pick it up and carry it out."
Altogether, the thief has stolen six containers, which can bring up to $6,000 per container. All the money helps sick and needy children in the area.
The various agencies began to collaborate after one of the containers was found dumped in Kansas City, KS.
"It's just getting worse. He's hitting more stores. If you know him, make sure you call in because it will help," Glover said.
Police are asking anyone with information on the man's identity to call the Lee's Summit Police Department's TIPS Hotline at 816-969-1752.
In the meantime, the Children's Network is working to anchor the containers so that they cannot be carried off.
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