Houston-area Girl Scouts try to fight off cookie money bandit

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by NAKIA COOPER

KHOU

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 12:36 PM

HOUSTON — A group of Girl Scouts tried to fight back when they were robbed by a suspect outside a Walmart in Fort Bend County Saturday afternoon. But the thief got away with all of the girls' hard-earned cash.

“It was a normal, windy, cold, hard-working day,” said Iravia Cotton, one of the scouts.

But the girls’ “normal” day quickly took a turn for the worst.

The girls were selling cookies outside the Walmart on Grand Parkway at Bellaire around 1:50 p.m. when they were approached by a man they thought was a potential customer.

“A guy came up and was asking, ‘How much are your cookies?’ and so we were telling him, and there was a guy in the car who was like, ‘Hey, hurry up,’” said Rachel Johnson, a nine-year scout.

The girls thought the men were just really anxious to get cookies, but they were wrong.

“Instead he grabs our cash box and runs over to the car and drives off,” Rachel said. “They drive off and I sort of hang on to the car and it drags me a bit."

Iravia ran to help her friend.

“Me and my friend Rachel, went after the money and then they tried to hit me with the car," she said. "I started hitting the boy that was in the passenger seat, so I think he learned his lesson a little bit ... and then they dragged my friend Rachel across the street, driving off real fast.”

The suspects escaped in a black Toyota Camry and got away with an estimated $200. They remain on the loose.

Rachel, who sustained minor bumps and bruises, would like to send a message to the crooks.

“Who steals from a Girl Scout? I mean, seriously, it’s like the worst thing ever,” she said. “I hope your face hurts from when Iravia punched you — jerks!”

Mona L. Tolbert, public relations manager for Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, issued the following statement:

The safety and well-being of the girls is always our top priority. We were informed that a cookie booth located outside a Walmart in the Sugar Land area was robbed this afternoon and two of the girls sustained non-life threatening injuries after trying to recover the stolen money.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is our most visible time of the year, but nothing is more important than the well-being of our girls and volunteers.

We have used this regrettable opportunity to remind our parents and volunteers of safety measures currently in place to help protect the girls and themselves, including:

  • Having two adults at all cookie booths at all times.
  • Keeping money out of sight, in a secure place like a cash box.
  • Being vigilant and aware of your surroundings. If at any time you feel you or your group is not  safe, remove yourself from the situation.

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