Police have nabbed a pair of thieves who swiped a jar of money from a 14-year-old girl trying to raise funds to compete in a prestigious golf tournament in Scotland this spring.
On a chilly Dec. 30 morning, Cindy Koira and her father Ravi set up a table outside the Yates Street Market downtown and began selling hot chocolate and snacks. At around 2:30 p.m., Cindy went into the store to warm up while Ravi manned the table.
Earlier, two men had approached the pair, asking what they were fundraising for, then left. About 20 minutes later, the pair came back. One of them — a tall man dressed in all black — grabbed the jar of money that contained around $160 and ran.
“There was a rush in my body and I jumped and tried to pounce on him,” said Ravi, who tried to give chase, but fell two times on the sidewalk, receiving minor bruises and a sprain to his shoulder.
“I just wanted to get the bottle back. We’d been standing there all day.”
Ravi got up and tried to continue the chase, but quickly gave up once he realized he was limping. A woman had already called the police when he returned to the table to comfort his shaken daughter.
Victoria police Const. Eirik Feir arrived to investigate, and later donated all of the stolen funds.
“That was very nice of him. I think the police department should recognize him for having such a great officer,” said Cindy, who was left feeling sad and angry about the theft.
An avid golfer, Cindy is set to compete at the U.S Kids Golf European Championship in Scotland in May — a tournament she’s competed in four times, finishing 12th last year.
According to Ravi, Cindy has been playing golf since she started walking and used to accompany him whenever he ventured onto to the golf course.
So far Cindy and her father have managed to raised around $3,000 through various fundraising efforts, such as selling lemonade outside their Central Saanich home in the summer or hot chocolate in front of local businesses on weekends. They plan to continue their efforts until they reach their goal of $6,000.
Police obtained images of the suspects from a security camera and were able to make an arrest. One man has since been released, but the other is being held in custody and facing charges of theft.