Girl Scout money bandit arrested

SAN DIEGO - A man who police believe stole money from some local Girl Scouts was taken into custody Thursday.

"Don't mess with the Girl Scouts," one young girl told 10News when she heard that police had the suspect.

This all started last Saturday.

Escondido Girl Scout Troop 2034 was in the parking lot of an Albertsons store in Escondido selling cookies when a man reportedly ran up and snatched their tip jar.

"He just took the box and in five seconds he was in his car," Girl Scout Zoey Fullerton said earlier this week.

For the Girl Scouts, and their parents, it wasn't so much about the money (there was only around $45 to $50 in the box) but more about the principle. The girls were collecting money for Operation Thin Mint, which goes to buy Girl Scout cookies for service members who are overseas.

The suspect is 21-year-old David Betancort of Escondido. Police say they had actually gone to his home on arrest warrants for unrelated cases. They say Betancort ran from officers but they were able to catch up to him after a short pursuit.

Betancort was arrested on the warrants and may also be charged with petty theft for the Girl Scout money burglary.

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