A burglar has stolen donations for the family of slain Officer Chuck Cassidy from the same West Oak Lane Dunkin' Donuts where the policeman was killed - but the theft has inspired others to replenish the jar.
By early afternoon yesterday, donations had more than tripled, with $100 - this time locked in a safe - to replace the $30 the thief took, said Dunkin' Donuts District Manager Kevin McWilliams.
"We had some generous people come in today," McWilliams said, adding that four or five people contributed the $100 after they heard about the burglary. "It was a wonderful gesture."
The Oct. 31 robbery and murder at the doughnut shop, situated along the busy commercial corridor in the 6600 block of North Broad Street, cut through the city's heart.
Cassidy, a 35th District officer and 25-year veteran, was shot when he was making routine rounds and walked into a robbery in progress. He is survived by his wife and three children. John "Jordan" Lewis, 21, an Olney High School dropout, is charged with the murder.
The robbery was the second time the shop had been held up in recent months. Each time, McWilliams said, employees and customers have shown resolve.
"When there's tragedy, everyone bonds together," McWilliams said. "Everyone's really been awesome."
A surveillance tape shows the burglar sneaking through a drive-through window about 3 a.m. Dec. 7, when the shop was closed. The thief took the jar and fled, triggering the store alarm, Officer Jillian Russell said.
The next day, Russell said, an unrelated theft occurred at a Wawa store in the 2800 block of Tyson Avenue in Mayfair. A thief entered the store about 3:30 a.m., while the store was open, grabbed another Cassidy donation jar, containing about $100, and ran.
Northwest Inspector Joe Sullivan, who had worked with Cassidy and was a close friend, said the robberies and thefts were not reflective of the community.
"This is a totally unexplainable and despicable act, but born out of it is more outpouring and kindness of the community," Sullivan said. "This is a reaffirmation of their support."
Members of the 35th District have established a trust fund for the family. Checks can be written to the Charles Cassidy Family Memorial Trust Fund, 901 Arch St., Philadelphia 19107.
Donations can also be taken to the 35th Police District, 5960 N. Broad St., Philadelphia; or to any of the following Police and Fire Federal Credit Union branches: 901 Arch St., 7604 City Ave., 8500 Henry Ave., 3338 S. Broad St., Leo Mall at Byberry and Bustleton Avenues, 7500 Castor Ave., and 3330 Grant Ave.