CROWN POINT | Police have arrested a Tennessee man in connection with the Oct. 26 theft of a donation jar for a child with cancer.
Joey K. Rogers, 28, was charged this week by the Lake County prosecutor's office with the theft of the jar, said Crown Point Police Chief Pete Land.
Rogers admitted to the crime under police questioning, Land said.
Police were led to Rogers with help from tips generated by the public after an appeal for information, Land said.
Video surveillance captured last month showed a man — later identified as Rogers — entering the Smoke Shop at 1115 N. Main St., where the donation jar was kept on a counter.
Rogers entered the store just before 8 p.m. and distracted the clerk, which allowed him to take the container and walk out with it, police said.
Rogers was staying in Hammond at the time of the jar was stolen but is a permanent resident of Tennessee, where he has a previous address in Shelbyville, police said.
Rogers is being held at the Lake County jail. A $1,000 cash bond has been set.
Land credited Detective Norm Isaacs with conducting an aggressive investigation leading to Rogers' arrest. Land also commended the community for providing information.
Austin Wielgos, 10, of Kentland, Ind., was the intended recipient of the donations. He was diagnosed in July with Hodgkins lymphoma and is undergoing treatment at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
Police said about $50 was in the jar and it was not recovered.