Cypress area Girl Scouts say thief stole $2,000, purchased gift cards at Kroger

CYPRESS – Members of a Girl Scout troop in Cypress say they are heartbroken after having to cancel field trips after the troop leader says someone stole thousands of dollars they earned selling cookies over the past several years.

They say it happened in broad daylight at Central Park in Cypress amid a crowd of people and even a party.

The troop leader says her vehicle was parked when she went to coach her daughter’s soccer game at a field, only about a dozen yards away. Within minutes, she was told someone had broken in.

“My car was locked, there were kids playing at the park, and there was an end-of-year party happening literally right there,” said Co-leader of Troop 109075, Sarah Podvin.

Within a span of 25 minutes, a sunny Saturday morning on Nov. 5 quickly turned gloomy for her and her troop.

“A guy ran over to our field and he said ‘does anybody have a grey Traverse.’ And I was like ‘Me. Guilty,’” she said.

She said at around 9:10 a.m. she then realized a thief had brazenly shattered her driver-side window and made away with her purse that was on the floor.

“I just was like this person has some guts,” Podvin said.

In addition to her personal cards being used, she says the thief purchased 2,000 in gift cards, using the troop’s debit card at a nearby Kroger where they often sell cookies.

“We worked really, really hard. We were selling cookies a lot,” said 5th grader Lucy Deeg. “It’s not really good, it’s just sad.”

Deeg is one of the heartbroken girl scouts and wanted to share a message with the suspected thief.

“You need to give it back because it’s not fair,” she said.

Podvin says the bank told her it’s possible the crook used a machine to change the debit card’s pin, which is why the transactions went through without a problem and their fraud claim has so far been denied.

We’re told the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office is investigating. Anyone with information is being asked to call them.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the girls recoup what was allegedly stolen.

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