A donation box dedicated to helping a local paralyzed girl obtain an electric wheelchair was stolen Sunday after a thief allegedly broke into a Minnesota grocery store.
On March 12, the Colonial Market in Minneapolis suffered a break-in in which more than $1,000 in donations dedicated to helping 15-year-old Natalie Bolanos were reportedly stolen, according to CBS Minnesota
In the summer of 2022, Bolanos suffered two strokes, which put her in a coma for a month, the outlet stated. That Christmas, Daniel Hernandez, who owns the Minneapolis grocery store frequented by Bolanos’ family, bought the family Christmas dinner and put donation boxes at the store’s registers to help raise money for an electric wheelchair for the teenager, the outlet reported.
Bolanos is only able to move her left hand, so an electric wheelchair would allow the teen more independence by allowing her to move around by herself, the outlet reported.
“People were giving with all their heart, man,” Hernandez said.
“Pure evil”: Thief steals donation box for paralyzed girl from Minneapolis grocery store https://t.co/t7qsQKVR6g via @wcco
— A.J. Hilton (@AJHilton_News) March 13, 2023
Those heartfelt donations were stolen when a suspect broke through two glass windows of the store and went straight for the boxes dedicated to helping Bolanos, allegedly making off with more than $1,000, the outlet reported. The entire heist took all of 10 seconds, CBS Minnesota reported. (RELATED: Now Mired In Crime, The City That Kicked Off ‘Defund The Police’ Movement Is Struggling To Recruit New Officers)
“Pure evil,” Hernandez said. “The first thing I thought was pure evil.”
Bolanos’ mother Lizbeth was brokenhearted over hearing about the break-in, telling CBS Minnesota that the surveillance video of the break-in drove her to tears. “We just want to make her happy,” Lizbeth said.
“I will do whatever it takes, and I will,” Hernandez promised. “Whether it’s in the next couple weeks or couple months, but I will get that wheelchair for her, because … she really needs it,” the store owner continued.