Police work to ID school donations thief

April 27, 2010 8:48:18 AM PDT
Investigators have a better idea of who stole $9,000 from a student fundraiser. Conroe ISD police spent Monday interviewing people who saw the man taking off with the box filled with thousands of fundraising dollars, while surveillance cameras at The Woodlands High School tell even more of the story. They believe whoever stole thousands of dollars from the student fundraiser had done a little planning.

Saturday the community showed up to the dog walking festivities at Woodlands High School to support the cause of buying a land mine detection dog.

"Just being able to raise one dog and save 10,000 lives, everyone jumped on it and wanted to help as soon as they could," Woodlands High School senior Shelby Howard said.

After taking a closer look at surveillance video from the school, Conroe ISD Police Chief Bill Harness says they can see part of the theft.

"You could tell that he was talking to someone on the phone for several minutes, pacing back and forth and waiting for the opportunity," Harness said.

Harness isn't releasing the video because the suspect may be a juvenile. Whoever it was, he ran off with about $9,000.

"It was just devastating," Howard said. "A lot of hard work gone in a matter of seconds."

Geography teacher Susan Hollier is sponsor of one of the two clubs involved in the project.

"Wow, in broad daylight, at the school, from the fundraiser," Hollier said

Harness says the thief may have had accomplices in the crime.

And as they've worked through leads Monday, they add he may have even participated in the event, giving him a chance to stake out the area and see where the money was being collected.

"It's devastating to them," Harness said. "They are trying to do the right thing and help others."

The students are back to starting from scratch towards their $20,000 goal to purchase a mine detection dog.

"When we were planning this, never did we think to watch the money box or anything like that," Howard said. "Of course, we were watching it but never did we think someone might steal it."

But they say the calls from the community to help have been pouring in.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 13 to 17 years old, 5'5", between 130 and 140 pounds, with a mostly shaved head, with brown eyes. He may have a first name of Andrew. Police say he had to hold up his baggy, mid-length pants as he ran off with the money.

If you have any information on the theft, call 888-543-2428. Police say you could be eligible for a reward of at least $1,000 for information.


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