UPDATE: Arrest made in donation jar theft in Buena Vista
Rockbridge County investigators are looking for the man who stole money from a convenience store
An arrest has been made in connection to the theft of a donation jar in Buena Vista.
Stephen Awusah was arrested Tuesday night and charged with robbery. He is from Roanoke.
Investigators believe he took about $30-$50 out of the donation jar from the Hilltop Gas and Convenience store in Buena Vista.
Investigators in Rockbridge County are looking for a robber.
It's been a little more than 24 hours since a man went into the Hilltop Gas and Convenience Store in Buena Vista and then disappeared after stealing money.
The gas station has been trying to do a good deed by placing a jar on the counter for donations. All the money raised was supposed to go to a young boy who has been in the hospital and is in need of some financial help, but instead it left the store with another man.
"I was just thinking how could you do that to a kid, a sick kid that needs the money,” said store clerk Regina Nole.
Nole is still having a hard time watching what happened at her convenience store in broad daylight.
"There was a couple of men in here and a woman and the three of us so how do I know what he's got or what he's gonna do,” she said.
Nole says the man walked through the front door and straight to the cash register. She says she got a weird feeling and before she knew it, he was grabbing for the jar full of money.
She says this man wasn't trying to check out, but rather cash in on some extra money. Nole says he kept telling her he needed gas money, and he needed it now.
Instead of putting money in the jar, the camera shows him trying to take some of it out. Nole says she couldn't believe what was happening.
"The jar was totally full and there was money coming out of where no more could fit in it and one of the cashiers said that yesterday she had stuck a pencil in there so more could fit and when he got done with it, it was about half full."
Seconds later, he made a run for it.
"He pretended like he was dropping the jar and he reached down there and took the money out, threw the jar on the counter and went on out the door,” said Nole.
Nole says she's not really upset. However, she is mad about the situation. She says countless customers have been giving their hard earned money to a boy many people don't even know. Now, it's gone.
"It was wrong,” she said. “That's stealing. That's not mine to give to him and it wasn't his to take he might as well tell us to open the register or open my pocket book."
Rockbridge County Sheriff Chris Blalock says they have named a suspect and are in the process of getting warrants for his arrest.
No other details have been released.
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