It doesn't pay to steal from donation boxes anywhere, but especially at the Lehigh Acres McDonalds on Homestead Rd. That was the message brought to the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Oct. 30.
"The reason being is that Deputy David Brown was nearby and the thieves didn't get very far," said Capt. Ron Curtis.
The donation boxes were on the county and were not secured and Curtis said two suspects grabbed the donation boxes.
Officer of the Month Deputy David Brown of the Lee county Sheriff’s Office stationed at the Bravo District in Lehigh Acres was honored after he nabbed two people for stealing a donation box at a quick food restaurant. At right is Capt. Ronald Curtis, commander of the Bravo district Substation.
"The mission of Ronald McDonald House charities is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. Anyone who has eaten at McDonalds knows there are donation boxes inside and outside the restaurants for their charities. The boxes inside are no usually secured to the counters," Curtis said.
"Even though it takes a certain kind of soulless and heartless person to steal from sick children and their parents, that is what happened on Sept. 10, and as a result of Deputy David Brown's quick actions, the two Blake Albritton, 24, and Kayla Cortez, 20, were charged with theft.
Deputy Brown was driving into the parking lot of the McDonalds when an employee flagged him down and told him that a male and female customers had just walked out of the quick food restaurant with the Ronald McDonald House Charities box and a credit card reader.
Brown began scouring the area for the perpetrators and he found them at the corner of Business Way and Beth Stacey Blvd.
The two were detained by Deputy Brown and in a line-up, both were positively identified; the credit card reader, valued at $500 and the charity box were both recovered and returned to McDonalds.
"Deputy Brown's attention to duty, his dedication to the community, and the people of Lee County, are highly commendable," Curtis said. A citation award was made to Brown by Chamber CEO and President Gary Bright.