Police Catch Accused Girl Scout Money Thief

ESCONDIDO, CA -- Girl Scouts call him a Cookie Monster, after this suspect took off with their cash jar outside a North County supermarket over the weekend.

CBS News 8 captured exclusive video of the suspect, 21-year-old David Betancort, being arrested Thursday afternoon. Officers went to the suspect's home to serve him with an unrelated arrest warrant. Seeing them, he bolted, but was taken into custody following a brief foot chase.

The theft happened at about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, when Betancort allegedly ran off with a donation jar being used to collect money to send cookies to troops overseas. The Girl Scouts' stand was set up outside an Escondido Albertsons store on West Valley Parkway.

Thursday, the Girl Scouts had this message for the thief:

"No more stealing our cookie money. Don't mess with Girl Scouts and don't mess with soldiers."

The Girl Scouts of San Diego released a statement thanking police, as well as community members who rallied to support the girls and the Operation Thin Mint program.

Betancort, an Escondido resident, was booked into county jail in Vista on the outstanding counts of battery and violation of a court gang injunction. Police will seek an additional count of petty theft related to the pilfered Girl Scout money, according to Lt. Neal Griffin said.


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