Woman wanted for stealing charity donation box in Port Deposit

Posted at 10:57 AM, Jan 17, 2017
For many, it's just a second thought.
A handful of change tossed into a collection box at the Landhope Farms convenience store in Port Deposit to help find a cure for childhood cancer.
It's in memory of Eli Seth Matthews of nearby Oxford, Pennsylvania.
Eli's battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia began when he was 6-years-old and ended three years later, but a foundation in his name has continued to collect money to help children with cancer ever since, without incident.
That s, until Sunday afternoon.
That's when Eli's father, Paul Matthews, received the news.
"I got a text from Dennis, the director here for Landhope Farms, and when I got the text I almost wanted to leave the council meeting, especially knowing the significance of what the money is used for and it's in my son's memory and honor and this Friday coming up is the day we lost him---January 20, 2011,” Matthews said. “So it's hard for everything we do."
A theft of donations captured on camera providing police with detailed images of the woman who obviously couldn't care less about helping sick children, and instead helped herself to the money.
"There's approximately a hundred to a hundred fifty dollars that was going to go to the foundation on the counter,” said Lt. Michael Holmes of the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office. “The female approaches the counter, puts the jar underneath her sweatshirt and walks out of the store."
The crime has created outrage throughout the community especially among those who know the foundation's work.
It not only has been acknowledged for two breakthroughs for infant leukemia, but also helps children facing cancer themselves.
"We are currently helping a little boy.  He is seven years old.  His name is Ethan here from Oxford,” Matthews said. “I flew down to St. Jude in Memphis, Tennessee, because there was no more hope for him and I got him to Cincinnati to a trial drug there to help save his life."
It is a labor of love, for his son, his memory and every child who may face the same battle, which makes the theft of a handful of donations that much tougher to take.
"I can tell you this right now,” Matthews said. “They've already been caught.  Our Good Lord's already caught them, but as far as detective work---I believe they will be caught and brought to justice and I hope that I can stand in the courtroom and look at this person and have them explain what their thought was, because there's no explanation for this."
If you recognize the woman in those pictures, you can call the Cecil County Sheriff's Office at 410-996-5500.
Meanwhile, the Landhope Farms convenience store is doubling the amount of money stolen and donating it to Eli's foundation to more than make up for the loss.

RELATED: How stores can guard against donation box theft

The suspect is described as a white woman wearing a purple North Face hoodie, blue jeans and a brown boots.

Anyone with information should email Senior DFC Frankie Stephens at

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