After Girl Scouts report $1,000 theft, NJ businesses step up
WOODBRIDGE —The theft of $1,000 in cash and checks from a Girl Scout troop selling cookies outside at the Woodbridge Center mall last week might have a sweet ending.
Several merchants have contacted New Jersey 101.5 offering to replace the money that troop leaders say two people swiped Friday afternoon.
Troop leaders of township-based Girl Scout Multi Level Troop 80062 told police that they had left the envelope holding cash and checks on their table on the upper level of the mall outside Boscov's sometime between 4:20 and 4:50 p.m. Friday.
Mick Kless, president and CEO of Ocean Township-based Compliance Education Institute, told New Jersey 101.5 that he has been in touch with troop leader Jessica Cunha Medina and has written the troop a check to cover the lost amount.
"After seeing the story, I was thinking to myself, 'Is there anything else lower than stealing money from kids, especially the Girl Scouts?' It made me feel really bad and I wanted to step up and do something nice," he said.
"Kids are very impressionable and I didn't want them to think that everybody out there is bad. I wanted them to understand that there are more good people than bad people and that one unfortunate experience really shouldn't create a bad impression of people in general."
He also had a more personal reason for making his donation. His his sister was a Brownie and Girl Scout in the 1960s and he wanted to donate in memory of their mother, who passed away in January. They grew up in the Fords section of Woodbridge.
"She was a very strong and motivated woman and I thought it would be appropriate to make a donation to other girls and the Girl Scouts who are learning about leadership and ambition and opportunities," Kless said.
The Daisies, Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes who make up the troop continued their sales schedule over the holiday weekend, with a planned stop outside the Nordstrom store at Menlo Park Mall in Edison.
Other merchants said they also are reaching out to Medina.
Isa Berisha, owner of Go Pro Electric of Scotch Plains, said reading about the theft "broke my heart and angered me at the same time."
"What kind of callous sonofa***** could do something like this to Girl Scouts?" Paul Fried, of Maid in Hoboken, said.
Woodbridge police Capt. Scott Kuzma said the investigation into the theft was ongoing. They have not publicly identified any suspects.
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