A Florida woman stole a donation jar meant for the family of a slain girl, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says. Tammy Crews, 46, was booked into jail Saturday for alleged grand theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The sheriff’s office said one of their officers was flagged down at the Tapatio Restaurant on Friday. They’d been at the shopping plaza there just days before because of the shooting death of 7-year-old Heidy Rivas-Villanueva. On August 11, she was sitting in a parked vehicle with her father when a stray bullet hit her in the head, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said in a press conference Tuesday. This was the result of a gunfight between two robbers and a robbery victim’s friend, he said. Heidy passed away. The three men have been arrested.
In the meantime, her family is grieving, and well wishers at the restaurant wanted to raise money on their behalf. But someone stole the cash, deputies said.
Surveillance footage from Tapatia shows a woman sitting at a table with the donation jar (deputies said it held an estimated value of $600). The woman appears to look around the restaurant. She brushes her hair with a hand, then lunges out for the jar. She stuffs it into a bag, and bolts out of the restaurant at a pretty brisk walk.
Authorities claim that’s Crews. Deputies got a tip, and a sheriff’s lieutenant found her down the street, deputies said. He started a conversation with her, and she “spontaneously” mentioned she had a crack pipe, the JSO statement said.
Investigators claimed to indeed find a glass pipe on her, and Crews admitted after being Mirandized that she stole the jar to fund her drug habit.
Records don’t name attorney for Crews. A court date hasn’t been scheduled.
A GoFundMe page was started to raise money for Heidy’s funeral. The plan is to move her body to Honduras. $16,336 of a $30,000 goal has been raised as of Sunday afternoon.
[Screengrab via Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office]