Donations For Lung Transplant Patient Stolen From Convenience Store
GLASSPORT (KDKA) — What happened at the Hot Spot convenience store in Glassport over the weekend ranks right up there with stealing from the poor box or the collection plate – though it might be worse.
Loretta Dibler is tethered to her oxygen machine for survival and has been that way 24-7 for the past year.
“I take one day at a time now,” she said. “As long as God wakes me up in the morning.”
Loretta has a disease which is scarring her lungs, eventually making them useless. It’s called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. A lung transplant is her only hope.
“You have to keep going. I got a beautiful daughter and two great grandkids,” she said.
Like most transplant patients, insurance doesn’t begin to cover the costs.
“With the co-payments – about $1.000 a month for the medicine alone,” Dibler said.
“You take the good with the bad,” says her husband Chuck, “You say vows for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.”
Married nearly 30 years, three months ago, Chuck Dibler put 12 collection jars in neighborhood stores to help with his wife’s expenses. On Saturday, one of them was stolen.
“This jar was full,” he said. “This store for some reason, they collected more than any other we did.”
“There must have been at least $350 to $400 in the jar,” according to Art Patel, owner of the convenience store.
Art noticed the jar missing from the counter of his store on Sunday and began reviewing his surveillance camera tapes. At 10:15 a.m. Saturday, Patel found what he was looking for.
The guy on the video uses lottery scratch tickets to distract the clerk. He also has a partner in crime.
“Has this little kid pick it up and takes it out for him and not to mention him stealing other stuff from the store,” Patel said.
Before taking the jar, you can see the man also pocket candy and cigarettes. But, Patel is really disgusted because of the stolen donations and the pint-sized accomplice.
“That just shows that we need to catch this guy,” he said.
The jar is now chained down so it can’t be easily taken. If you know who took the money, please call Glassport police.