Mar 4, 2013 6:14 PM by Nathan O'Neal
TUCSON - Two Girl Scout troops were robbed while selling cookies within 24 hours of each other, as thieves ran off with more than $500 combined.
One troop was hit on Saturday night as two young girls in their 20's stole the Girl Scout troop's cash box while outside of a Fry's in midtown.
"They decided to steal our money box and they grabbed it and ran and got into a vehicle and drove off," Micahela Everett said, a Girl Scout troop member.
It was a shocking crime that had folks talking everywhere.
"I hope they catch them, that's ridiculous," said Don Norton, an avid Girl Scout cookie customer.
Less than day after that robbery, another troop was targeted in front of a Bookman's near Speedway and Wilmot.
This time a young man got away with more than $200.
"As soon as the box was gone, my first instinct was to run and just run," said Jennifer Princepiper, a troop mother who chased after the thief.
It robberies was a heart-breaking series of incidents that Debbie Rich, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, sees as a learning opportunity.
"They want to use their experience to help other girls understand that these kinds of situations happen, not just during the Girl Scout cookie program, but in life," Rich told News 4 Tucson, as she hopes to keep with the theme of teaching leadership.
"I don't want this to make it the norm of Girl Scouts. I don't want this to change our program and how girls relate to the public," Rich said.
There was one more lesson from this situation, troop mothers agreed, coming from the community about kindness.
One KVOA viewer donated to cover every penny the first troop lost on Saturday. Meanwhile, the second troop was greeted by folks who saw what happened and opened their own wallets.
"After was all said and done, people just started handing us their money and they couldn't get them to take cookies, but they more than made up for what we lost," said Nicole Hopkins, a mother who was on sight when the second troop was robbed.
Sunday marked the end of the official cookie-selling season at the booths but because of previous snow conditions, there will be a bonus week to purchase Girl Scout cookies.