Veterans’ Jar Stolen in Poconos

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MOUNT POCONO -- A donation jar for veterans in need was stolen from a restaurant in the Poconos.

The donation jar filled with poppies marked for veterans in need was swiped sometime in the past few weeks from Wendy’s in Mount Pocono.

"Oh, the whole thing. The can disappeared. It was standing right there," said Dina Coelho, Wendy’s general manager. "My jaw dropped and I'm like, I guess somebody took it,” said Coelho.

The jar was put out before Memorial Day by the head of American Legion Post 903. The money inside meant for veterans in need.

"The money we raise helps towards our programs like the homeless veterans, disabled veterans, so that's where the money would have went, helping a homeless veteran, maybe feeding them, giving them shelter for a night in a motel or something,” said Tom Bowditch, Commander of American Legion Post 903.

The manager at Wendy's isn't sure exactly how much money was in the jar when it was stolen.

Regardless of the amount, people are upset.

"How could you steal from the veterans? I mean we served this country. We protected the people. We were in combat. Why would you? I can't find the words. It's sick, is what it is. It's a sick thing,” said Tony Civorelli of Tobyhanna.

"It's awful. It's an awful thing, somebody who would steal from veterans. I just can't imagine. I can't imagine someone doing that,” said Jessi Eldred of Tobyhanna.

The workers at Wendy's say they feel so bad about what happened, they're going to do their part of make it right.

"I was talking with my employees, and we decided we would do a collection on payday so we can give them some money. I mean I don't know how much money was there--we don't know--just whatever they can get from us because I feel mortified that it was in my establishment and it was taken,” said Coelho.

Authorities aren't exactly sure the jar was stolen. The manager at Wendy's said she thought it was taken by the American Legion until they came on Friday to find it was missing.


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