Suffolk police have charged a man with stealing a donation can set out to raise money for leukemia research from a Lindenhurst 7-Eleven earlier this month.
Police said Lindenhurst resident Matthew Donadeo, 20, took the can -- placed there in memory of the store manager's daughter, Isabella Pine -- from the 7-Eleven on North Greene Avenue about 9:45 p.m. on Feb. 3. The theft was caught on video surveillance, police said.
"We're very happy that he got caught -- it's a shame that he had to take something that was for a little girl who passed away from leukemia and was in memory of her," said Isabella's aunt, Tracey Pine, the sister of 7-Eleven store manager Diane Pine.
Tracey Pine, 45, who lives with her sister in Lindenhurst, said the can held about $75 when it was stolen, money that was going to be donated to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Diane Pine has given $11,000 to the society through donations since she put the can out on the counter after the death of her 8-year-old daughter on Oct. 31, 2012.
The pain of the can being stolen wasn't about the money it held, she added: "It was the fact that he took the can with her picture on it" and threw it away, she said.
Police said tips from the public helped them identify Donadeo in the surveillance video. He was arrested Tuesday by First Precinct Crime Section officers Madeline Cunningham and John Sheridan at a friend's house in Lindenhurst, police said.
Donadeo, of 361 Catskill Ave., was charged with petit larceny and an unrelated charge of criminal contempt, police said. He was arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Central Islip.