Wayne Freedman/Facebook.com

Girl Scout Harshita Phardwaj, only 12-years-old, saw first-hand how terrible people of the world can be. However, it was quickly followed by an example of love and compassion.

Phardwaj and her mother, Bhawana Singh, were holding a Girl Scout cookie booth when a man in a black hood approached pretending to be a buyer. He pointed a gun at the two women and made off with all of their cash.

"Why would someone do that," asked Singh, "Someone that is hurting, must not be in the right state of mind."

"It's real sick," said one cookie buyer Craig Harper. "On one to 10, it's a 12."

"I mean, we see all kinds of awful things, but this is horrible. This is bad," said local police officer, Lisa Gratez.

Thankfully, the mother and daughter were uninjured in the robbery. However the incident shook up many in the community.

This year marks the 100th year that Girl Scouts have sold cookies. In all of that time, there is no record of any other armed robbery. Tensions and emotions ran high at the Girl Scout Headquarters.

Heather Berlew-Hayden of the Girl Scouts of Northern California told ABC7 News that they were "very concerned about the safety of other people doing this."

Yet, even in the midst of a scary situation, there is a bright side.

After the robbery, the local police station got together and purchased the scout’s entire inventory. On Thursday, a sergeant presented the scout and her mother a check for $1000 to make up for the stolen cookie money.

Police said one reason they wanted to do something nice is because many of them have daughters involved in scouting.

The scout happily delivered boxes and boxes of cookies to the officers. The cookies were left in the breakroom and it is not expected for them to last long.

"At that time, we did what we could to make it, loving and compassionate and healing," said Gratez.

Phardwaj and her mother were back out in the community running another cookie booth the following week. When asked if she's worried, she said, "A little bit, because it might happen here."

Parents, however, stood next to their daughters proudly. The troop and girls decided that they wanted to show their strength and resilience in the face of something terrifying. Thanks to kindness of the police, the girls knew that there were still great people in the world.

Sargent Steve Mendez is proud of his officers and said he was glad they were able to donate and turn the robbery into a happy story.

As the news continues to spread across the nation, there has been an outpouring of support from other Girl Scout troops, former scouts, and other police stations.

While they have yet to grab the suspect, the Union City Police Department has a ton of cookies to fuel them as they continue the search.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus