Couple Arrested For Stealing Donations Meant For Child's Heart Transplant (Video)

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A couple has been arrested in Hawaii for allegedly stealing a jar of donations meant for a young girl who needs a heart transplant.

Video surveillance footage at the Irie Hawaii smoke shop showed a man grabbing the jar from a counter and shoving it into his pants.

The man was identified as Jeffrey Kleinschmidt, 57, and has been charged with theft, reports Huffington Post. Kristin Johnson, 45, was arrested and released pending further investigation.

The donation jar had been set up by the store manager, Jose Miranda, in an effort to raise money for the sick child, Madisyn Tamaki, who is 8 years old, reports KSL.

"I was watching the video and my heart just dropped to my toes, you know?" Miranda said. "Everybody has some kind of etiquette — even robbers, even burglars. And for him to not even think about this 8-year-old needing a heart transplant to me is mind-boggling. That's beyond cold-hearted to me."

The couple was recognized at another Big Island smoke shop and taken into custody. Miranda picked them out of a line-up on Wednesday.

Police records indicate Kleinschmidt has 31 prior offenses.

A rally of community support has occurred for Tamaki following the theft.

"People calling us wanting to replace the money that was taken. A few people called saying they wanted to donate double what was taken. It just was unreal the support that's flowing from this situation for her," Miranda said.

Tamaki is currently awaiting a transplant at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She has been diagnosed with acute fulminant myocarditis, an inflammatory disease that attacks the heart muscle.

"We're just all praying that a heart will become available for her," said an aunt, Melissa Dunn. "Maddie is a very intelligent and vibrant child and she's got much to achieve for her future."

Sources: Huffington Post, KSL / Photo Source: Huffington Post