Police have arrested two of three people they say stole donations made to the family of slain Officer Chuck Cassidy as news of the thefts prompted others to step forward and give money.
"During this time of the year, clearly we see the best and worst of people," Chief of Detectives Keith Sadler said yesterday, adding that he hoped the thefts would not discourage businesses from collecting for good causes.
"We see hardworking people give what they can, and they feel good about it," he said.
He said people in the community had helped police identify the suspects accused of stealing donation jars last week from the West Oak Lane Dunkin' Donuts where Cassidy was shot Oct. 31 and from a Wawa in Mayfair.
Robert Labar, 33, and Linda Reed, 24, both of the 4500 block of Mercer Street, are charged with theft, receiving stolen property, and related offenses.
Wawa spokeswoman Mandy Lain called the arrests "good news."
Wawa is donating $150 to the Cassidy family to offset the estimated $100 in collections taken in the Wawa jar, she said.
"Our hearts go out to the family," said Lain, who noted that she had numerous relatives who were police officers. "It just seems so terrible that anyone would do that, especially this time of the year."
When news spread about the theft of $30 from the store where Cassidy was shot, Dunkin' Donuts district manager Kevin McWilliams said Tuesday, customers immediately responded with more than $100.
Cassidy, a 35th District officer and 25-year veteran, was shot when he was on his routine rounds and walked into a robbery at the doughnut shop, in the 6600 block of North Broad Street. He is survived by his wife and three children. John "Jordan" Lewis, 21, an Olney High School dropout, is charged with the murder.
On Friday, a burglar broke into the Dunkin' Donuts store and was captured on surveillance tape grabbing the donation jar and fleeing.
The next day, surveillance tape at the Wawa in the 2800 block of Tyson Avenue caught a man taking the donation jar and leaving with a woman.
After the surveillance tapes were shown on television, narcotics officers received a tip about the couple on the Wawa tape.
Detectives are still working on the Dunkin' Donuts theft, Officer Tanya Little said.
Anyone who wants to donate to the family can send checks 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., or to these 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.