Teen suspect caught stealing from Arterburn donations

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A Wichita teenager was arrested Monday afternoon, after surveillance video at a convenience store showed him stealing a collection jar intended for Officer Bryan Arterburn's recovery fund.

The robbery was small, likely around $100. Phong Nguyen, owner of Discount Cigarettes Gas and Groceries, said it happened when his clerk briefly turned her back to work at the side window. But it's whom that money was being collected for, that bothers him.

"I just chalk it up to being stupid, being a kid and being an easy opportunity," Nguyen said. "We have two charity jars up here. One for church and one for Bryan Arterburn. I think he took the one with more money in it."

In less than 20 seconds, he said the teen went up to the counter, saw the canister and took it, quickly leaving the store. He said the suspect likely didn't realize he had multiple surveillance cameras inside the store, which recorded the whole time.

Nguyen called police, posted video of the incident to social media, and within an hour, the teenager was caught. He said witnesses in the area saw the teen ordering ice cream at a nearby restaurant before police arrived.

Some of the money was returned, but not all of it. Nguyen hopes the teen uses this as a life lesson, and that his customers will still feel safe donating to Arterburn's recovery.

"Bryan's got a long road. we still have people donating all of the time. And we'll keep doing it until he gets back home," he said.

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