CENTER CITY (WPVI) --A cold-hearted thief robbed a Girl Scout who was selling cookies Saturday in Center City and the community took action.
"He said quickly, 'That man just took your daughter's money!' and then the Good Samaritan ran after the guy down the alley," said Jennifer Brinkmeier of Center City.
For 9-year-old Anastasia, selling Girl Scout cookies was supposed to be a fun opportunity to learn valuable life skills.
"She keeps saying, 'I want to do it, I want to do it,' and gets out in the cold and sits and helps everybody that wants to come by," said Brinkmeier.
But it quickly turned into an experience she won't soon forget, for reasons she couldn't have expected.
It happened just before 5 p.m. on Saturday along the 400 block of South 16th Street. A man approached her.
"He said that he wanted some lemonade for his girlfriend, but he had to check if she was allergic to any of the ingredients," said Anastasia.
She handed him a list of ingredients. He handed it back. And just as she grabbed it, "He took the money envelope out from my pocket, my apron pocket," said Anastasia.
The man ran off down a nearby alley with $50 to $100 in hand. A gentleman rushed inside and told Brinkmeier, who had stepped away just moments before. He was one of several strangers who tried to chase down the man.
"I was really heartened by the Good Samaritan," said Brinkmeier.
As for those life skills little Anastasia was expecting to learn, life ended up showing her the bad and and good in people.
A minivan family swung by and gave her $4 and said tell her there's good people in Philadelphia.
And to the man who stole from Anastasia:
"I'd say, think about your choices and what you're doing with your life and whether this is the kind of person you want to be," said Brinkmeier.
For information on how you can donate to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, CLICK HERE.