Thieves Steal St. Jude Fundraiser Prizes - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Thieves Steal St. Jude Fundraiser Prizes

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FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Every year St. Jude's Hospital raffles off a dream home in Franklin. It's a big fundraiser for the Memphis hospital. Someone saw it as an opportunity to take off with a few prizes.

Not too long after the grand prize was awarded, thieves decided to steal a scooter - donated to give to children - and make it their own. 

The hospital has held the fundraiser for five years, using a house to help the children at St. Jude's Hospital.

"We've raised probably a little over $6 million for the hospital," says Jim Cheney with the Southern Land Company.

At this year's St. Jude Dream Home in Franklin's Westhaven development, someone helped themselves to a few of the runner-up prizes.

"This was really a crime of opportunity. Someone found a window that was open, they walked away with two things that were easy to get away with," says Charlie Warner with the Franklin Police Department.

Warner says the thieves took off with a $1,500 scooter and a $500 drill set.

"We think they went into the garage, and just popped the garage, and came out with the stuff and shut it back," says Cheney.

Westhaven is a densely populated subdivision, but this year Southern Land decided to build the home in an area where neighbors are few and far between.

"Something like this probably would have been more challenging had it been in a neighborhood. It's a very tight knit neighborhood, somebody would have said something," says Cheney.

Franklin police need someone come forward and provide information about what happened at the dream home last weekend.

"We hope that the community will be as outraged as we are about it and actually call and tell us who did it, because thieves aren't very good at keeping secrets. They always tell someone," says Warner.

Police ask residents to keep an eye out for a scooter and the person who's riding it.

"It's a drag and it really stinks that someone would do something like this when it benefits kids," says Cheney.

A break-in at the dream home won't keep Westhaven from helping those children in the years to come.

The two stolen prizes - valued at $2,000 - are covered by insurance, so the people who won the scooter and drill set will get them eventually.

Over the last five years Westhaven has hosted the "dream home," fundraiser they have never had a problem like this.

Officials with Southern Land said they will beef up security next year, so there's no opportunity for this crime to happen again.

If you happen to see that blue and white scooter out on the streets, give Franklin Police a call at 615-550-8404.

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