GLEN CARBON, IL (KTVI) – Call it a cruel crime at a Glen Carbon, Illinois, IHOP restaurant. The general manager calls it "pathetic".
Someone allegedly stole a donation bucket meant for a worker there who is battling breast cancer.
“It breaks my heart to know that somebody would do that to somebody who’s fighting for their life,” said an emotional Traci Quigley about what happened to her friend and co-worker Mary Timms, 51.
Traci and her daughter Ashley coordinated the donation drive for Mary who was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer.
They couldn’t believe it when the donation bucket was stolen from the IHOP on Route 159.
“This is for someone that’s a single lady that is very hurt. She needs all the help that she can get and for someone to come in here and take that, it’s really devastating and heartbreaking,” said Ashley.
"IHOP employees and Glen Carbon police believe the theft happened sometime between Sunday night and early Monday morning."
The container was apparently on the front counter. The general manager says someone just walked out with it without anyone realizing what had happened. There was money in the container.
Mary says the donations are critical because they help her to pay bills. Having the bucket stolen makes her mad, “I just couldn’t believe somebody would just blatantly walk in and carry a bucket out. And it had my picture on it and all the information.”
The restaurant does have surveillance video. Police say they are reviewing it to see if it can help.
Meanwhile, after we started reporting the story, all kinds of people came out to donate.
“I thought right here in our own community and then somebody would just take somebody’s money that’s got cancer and it just touched my heart,” said carol Hubert, who doesn’t know Mary but came out donate anyway.
Mary has a message for whoever took the bucket: “How could you do it? I hope they have a lot of sleepless nights actually. I hope their conscience gets to them.”
Mary hasn’t been able to work since she was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer.
"Meanwhile, after we started reporting the story, all kinds of people came out to donate, bringing in more than $1,000."
To help Mary, the restaurant’s owner says 20% of all proceeds Wednesday from the Glen Carbon IHOP will go to Mary.