PERU – Police say a man and woman stole a donation can from a gas station that had been placed there for a local man who had been injured in a serious vehicle crash earlier this year.
Police responded to the Marathon gas station at 336 E. Main St. at around 2:20 p.m. Wednesday on the theft report.
Video footage showed a man taking the can from the counter and placing it in the woman’s bag while the store clerk was turned away.
Police say the can had been placed on the counter to collect donations for Jacob Hiles, a 27-year-old man who sustained a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle crash in Peru on June 20.
Police posted video footage of the theft on the department’s Facebook page and asked for the public’s help in finding the whereabouts of the suspects. The post ended up with over 760 shares and over 37,000 views.
Officers said citizen tips led them to Danielle Hartleroad and Michael Sturgeon, who told police they would come into the department on Thursday to speak with investigators. Hartleroad came to the interview, but Sturgeon did not, according to a probable-cause affidavit.
Police said during the interview, Hartleroad admitted to taking the donation can after the clerk would not cash a check, which left them no money to pay for a drink.
She told police the can only contained around $2, and after leaving the store, she threw it in the dumpster behind the gas station, according to the affidavit.
Hartleroad was arrested Thursday on a misdemeanor charge of theft. Sturgeon was arrested for the same charge on Friday.