Donation jars for slain girl's family stolen in Florida

Heydi Rivas Villanueva, 7, was killed by a stray bullet earlier this month.

A Florida man stole a donation jar with more than $500 meant for the family of a slain 7-year-old girl Sunday, the second such theft in a week.

Heydi Rivas Villanueva, 7, was killed by a stray bullet earlier this month. The community has been using donation jars to collect funds her family can put toward her funeral costs. Sunday's robbery occurred just a few feet away from where employees were working at the counter of La Raza Mexican Grocery in Jacksonville.

"Who is he and most of all who does this? 2nd time now," the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department wrote on Twitter, urging people to help police find the thief in the latest incident.

A surveillance video shared by the police shows a man walking by the counter with the jar on it on his way out. He can be seen stopping just before he reaches the door when he turns and leans down to peer at the jar. He appears to read the sign on the jar before nonchalantly picking it up and walking out.

The theft took just over 20 seconds and occurred a few feet from where two employees were speaking with a customer, but both the jar and the man appear to be outside of the employees' line of sight.

The store's owner told ABC Orlando affiliate WFTV that he was angry about the thefts.

"It had more than $500 that we raised. It’s a shame that they took all of that," Francisco Cuellar told WFTV. "It had her picture. It had all the information. He saw that it was a girl’s photo and he took it. He didn’t care. I’m angry. How is it possible that this could happen twice in less than a week?"

A woman was arrested on Saturday for stealing a different donation jar for Villanueva's family from a different restaurant on Friday. That jar had about $600, which was replaced by another person who heard about that theft, according to authorities.

A GoFundMe page created by a friend of the family said money was being raised to help the family arrange for a funeral for the girl in Honduras. Villanueva was sitting in a car outside a shopping center on Aug. 11 when a stray bullet from a gunfight nearby hit her in the head and killed her, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department said on Facebook. Five suspects have been arrested in the incident, the department tweeted Wednesday.

Cuellar said the theft at his store went unnoticed until the next day when a representative for the slain girl's family arrived to pick up the jar.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with information about the suspect in Sunday's theft to call them at 904-630-0500 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS. A $3,000 reward is being offered for information, police said.