02/24/2014 01:38 pm ET Updated Feb 24, 2014

Laughing Man Robs Girl Scouts' Collection Jar

Zoe and Gracie Fullerton of Escondido, Calif., didn't have such a sweet Saturday after a man stole a collection jar with $45 in proceeds from Girl Scout Cookie sales.

The two sisters were selling cookies outside a grocery store when a man thought to be between 19 and 22 years old ran out of the store and stole all their cash. The man was said to be laughing the whole time.

"He just came out and took our money," Gracie Fullerton told KFMB-TV. "He was kind of laughing when he we thought that he would turn around. But he didn't. He kept on running."

The cookie money crook got into a black Acura with the California license plate 6KBC407. There were three others inside.

The money was supposed to go to "Operation Thin Mint," a program that provides cookies and support to U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa, places where Girl Scouts rarely go door-to-door.

“Not only did they rob the Girl Scouts, they robbed the soldiers, too,” Erin Fullerton, the girls' mother, told NBC San Diego.

Erin Fullerton tried to reach into the car's back window to stop the suspect, but she was knocked down as the car drove away. Another driver pulled in front of the car to stop the suspect, but he backed out and got away.

After the encounter, Gracie and Zoe were a little bit scared about resuming cookie sales, but they got their sweet revenge of sorts.

Once word got out about the theft, grocery store customers started buying cookies and making donations to Operation Thin Mint.

"The employees took up a collection and other people started donating and we got more than $300," Erin Fullerton told "So the good guys will win but we still want to catch the guy."

Police are investigating the matter but this isn't the first such incident this year in San Diego County.

Girl Scout mother Patricia Portlock, who began selling cookies at the same grocery store shortly after the Fullertons left, said it was the third theft she had heard of this year.

"If the cookies get stolen or the money gets stolen, then that troop has to still pay for these cookies. We're still responsible for them," Portlock told NBC San Diego.



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