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Teens steal $300 donation jar to buy weed, police say

$300 donation jar stolen from restaurant

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FRIENDSWOOD – Two teens are accused of stealing a $300 donation jar from a Friendswood restaurant, police said.

The theft happened on Aug. 1 at the Rancho Mexican Restaurant.

According to investigators, the teens ate at the restaurant and paid for their meal, then walked outside, but before leaving the parking lot, one of them went back inside, grabbed the donation jar that was sitting near the cash register and ran back out.

The restaurant said there was $300 in the donation jar.

An investigating officer reviewed surveillance video a week later and recognized both suspects and the car they were driving from prior law enforcement interactions, police said.

Investigators have identified the suspects as Elliott Thomas Sharpless, 19, of Pearland and Matthew Bryson Jones, 18, of Friendswood.

The Galveston County Sheriff's Office accepted theft charges for both teens, and warrants were issued for their arrests.

On Monday, Jones was found at Polly Ranch Park on Airline Drive. He was taken into custody and transported to the jail.

Investigators said Jones told them that he and Sharpless used the cash from the donation jar to buy marijuana.

Sharpless was arrested Monday night.

Jones and Sharpless are in the Galveston County Jail on a $1,000 bond.

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