Crime Watch 8

Video shows theft of children's hospital's donation box

UPDATE: Two suspects were taken into custody Saturday afternoon in connection to this theft. Read more here

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- Security video shows two men stealing a box of donations intended for Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health

The video shows two men hop out of a blue pickup before entering a BP gas station near Southport Road and State Road 37 around 6 a.m. Monday. 

Jaden Onken, whose family owns the gas station, said customers have dropped money in a donation box near the counter for about 20 years. 

"Every donations counts. It means a lot to me," Onken said. 

Onken said the box was attached to a cable. Somehow, the thief removed the box and shoved it into his coat. 

"I gotta chain it down next time," Onken said. 

The other man tried to distract the overnight cashier by asking about cigars, but the cashier spotted the theft. 

"Our night guy just walked around the counter and confronted him about it," Onken said. "But it's very dangerous because we don't want to get him hurt or anything."

One man told the cashier he'd get the box back to him, but instead they got back in the truck. 

Onken said he was in the parking lot during the theft, about to head into work. He said he saw the men cut off another driver during their getaway. 

"Silly little dude, getting away with money going to kids," Onken said. "It's kind of pointless."

Riley Children's Foundation said they are aware of the theft. 

A spokesperson for the foundation said in a statement, "Donations to Riley Hospital for Children are vital to ensuring all patients have access to exceptional care."

Onken is hoping the store's 16 high-definition security cameras can help police identify the suspects.

For him, the case is personal, and not just because he works at the store. 

"I was a Riley patient myself when I was about 4 years old," he said. 

Onken said Riley doctors treated him for a condition called diverticulitis. The Onkens collect the donations to thank the Riley staff. 

The donations stolen could have gone to patient care prograns, medical equipment or family support programs. 

Anyone with information can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477. 

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