(KMOV) – Authorities say they have seen an increase in the thefts of donation jars in Missouri and throughout the St. Louis area.
On Wednesday, prosecutors filed charges against a suburban Kansas City man accused of stealing six donation jars for the Children’s Miracle Network containing thousands of dollars. The money is used to help provide medical care for children.
Michael W. Sterbach, of Overland Park, Kan., was charged with two felony counts of stealing for stealing the displays, each worth about $500.
It was the latest in a string of donation jar thefts in the region.
“It’s just heart breaking, we are just trying to raise money for children and the fantastic pediatric hospitals,” said Krista Lucy, executive director of the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals of Greater St. Louis.
Lucy says the criminal’s actions means fewer kids are getting help.
“It means less money that is going to the hospitals and it’s affecting our bottom line,” she said. “Every dollar we raise is split between our two pediatric hospitals.”
Recently, another suspect stole a donation jar from a Chesterfield gas station. That jar was meant for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Police say the guy responsible is still on the loose.