CRIME

Hawaii Pair Arrested After Allegedly Stealing Donations For Third-Grader On Life Support

02/27/2015 12:02 pm ET | Updated Feb 27, 2015

A man and woman were arrested by Hawaii police on Wednesday after video surveillance allegedly showed them stealing a jar of donations for a young girl fighting for her life.

The footage shows Jeffrey Kleinschmidt, 57, and Kristin Johnson, 45, inside a Big Island smoke shop on Monday. Kleinschmidt can allegedly be seen removing the donation jar from a countertop and shoving it into his pants when an employee turns away. The shop's manager, Jose Miranda, said he set up the jar in an effort to raise money for Madisyn Tamaki, an 8-year-old who is in desperate need of a heart transplant.

The couple was taken into custody after being recognized at another Big Island smoke shop. Miranda was able to pick them out of a line-up on Wednesday afternoon.

According to local news outlet KITV, Kleinschmidt was charged with theft following the pair's arrest. According to Hawaii News Now, police records indicate that he has 31 prior offenses. Johnson, however, has been released pending further investigation.

Miranda said the best thing to come out of the situation was an outpouring of community support for Tamaki. "People calling us wanting to replace the money that was taken. A few people called saying they wanted to donate double what was taken. It just was unreal the support that's flowing from this situation for her," he told Hawaii News Now.

Tamaki was recently transported to Seattle Children's Hospital where she awaits a heart transplant. She is in critical but stable condition.

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