Ten-year-old Sophia Contos was selling Girl Scout Cookies with her troop in front of a San Jose, California, grocery store — but a man yanked a cash box right out of her hands.
The Girls Scouts were selling cookies outside a Branham Lane Safeway Sunday afternoon, trying to raise money for a water conservation service project. But then, Contos said a man approached her table and tried to steal the cash box with $600 inside.
"He's looking around, looking at the cookies, and I keep my hands on the box," Contos said. "And (he starts) to pull away and all of a sudden he goes for it. I jerk it away, but then he's like too strong, so he gets it."
The suspected thief, who police identified as 23-year-old Cody Gintz, ran off, but came back to the parking lot 10 minutes later. That is where witnesses spotted him and got his license plate number as he took off, police said.
Police were able to quickly pull him over and arrest him for strong arm robbery. They found $300 on him, and he told police he tossed the cash box in a nearby creek. A K-9 officer found it.
The girls got their money back, and on top of that, police bought $240 worth of cookies and gave the troop $60 cash.
Sophia's mother said it was a scary experience for her daughter, but witnesses at the store, along with police, really sprang into action to help — and she is hoping that is what her daughter will remember most.