(KMOV) – Authorities have charged a man accused of stealing the donation jar benefiting The Backstoppers Inc., an organization that provides financial assistance to families of first responders after their death.
Tommie Hughes, 43, was charged Monday with theft under $500.
According to court documents, Hughes and a woman were buying alcohol inside the Zephyr Express gas station in the 1110 block of E. Broadway in Alton on Saturday when they grabbed the donation jar and ran out.
Authorities said the gas station owners followed the suspects and when Hughes saw one of them on the phone with police, he handed the worker the jar, which contained about $30.
Both suspects then fled into Chubby’s bar in the 1000 block of E. Broadway.
According to police, the workers spotted the two run into bar bathroom and they called police.
Officers responded to the scene and arrested Hughes and the woman. She was also arrested in the case on a misdemeanor charge. Police said Hughes’ case was bumped up to a felony because of outstanding warrants.
Hughes on Wednesday remained at the Madison County Jail on a $15,000 bond.
An initial court date has been set for May 10.