DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A regular customer at a pizza shop in Davie was caught on surveillance camera stealing cash from a jar that was meant to be donated to a cancer patient.
The Davie community has come together to help collect money for a Cooper City woman battling breast cancer. They’ve organized fundraisers, and the store owner of Hungry Howie’s in Davie put out a donation jar to help her with medical bills.
On Sunday night, surveillance cameras rolled as a thief, identified as Michael Calareso, grabbed a handful of cash while waiting at the counter at Hungry Howie’s.
“When he went to that next dip is where I felt my heart drop,” said business owner Sharon Berry.
Although the business is known for pizza, they’ve recently been trying to serve up a little relief for cancer patient Rhea Ranon.
“She is probably one of the sweetest, most humble people I’ve ever met,” Berry said. “Through this whole ordeal that she’s going through, with surgeries and the chemotherapy, she has just been a saint about it.”
A sign next to the jar told Ranon’s story and where the money is going to, but the crook decided to take money anyway.
“It didn’t matter. He just put his hand right in there and took whatever certain amount of money,” Berry said.
Cameras show the man taking money from the tip jar, followed by the cancer donation jar.
“They’ll see the pink bandana on top,” said manager Michael Elhaj, “so to steal from the jar, that really speaks a lot about the person.”
The restaurant said the thief is a regular, which is how they got his name and number to help police officers track him down.
As the business continues to collect donations, Berry has a message for the thief.
“Get a conscience, grow a soul, stop and think about the people you hurt,” Berry said.
According to Davie Police, Calareso was given a notice to appear in court for petty theft.
He has been banned from the restaurant.
If you’d like to donate to Ranon’s battle against cancer, click here.
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