Team members at Sudie's Catfish Restaurant in Pasadena decided to help when the son of one of their employees was murdered in gang violence in El Salvador.
"We were collecting money to help with the funeral expenses and also for a couple of their family members who are still there," Sudie's employee Bonnie Williams said.
Employees held car washes and bake sales and they had a donation jar at the checkout that had grown due to the generosity of customers.
But on Wednesday afternoon, a man who was caught on camera grabbed the donation jar as well as a tip jar at the counter.
After the story aired on abc13 on Wednesday evening, Pasadena police received a tip call with a name of a possible suspect. Officers arrested Jordan Alexander Ybarra on an unrelated warrant, and while questioning him, they say he admitted taking the donation and tip jars.
Ybarra, 21, has been charged with theft.