An Athol man who stole $12 from a Jimmy Fund collection can in the lobby of the local police station has been sentenced to a year in prison, prosecutors say.
On Monday Aug. 15, an Orange District Court judge found John Hayes, 37, guilty of larceny for the Sept. 22, 2010, theft, Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan’s office said in a statement.
Hayes stole the collection can from the lobby of the Athol police station, which he was visiting with his 13-year-old son on an unrelated matter, said Athol Police Chief Timothy Anderson.
Police did not notice the collection can was missing until a court officer did a routine review of security tapes, Anderson said.
In the tape, Hayes can be seen bringing the collection can into the restroom and reemerging without it – presumably with the money hidden on his person, Anderson said. He then left the station.
Hayes was arrested Nov. 4, 2010, Anderson said.
“As a breast cancer survivor, I am particularly mindful of the seriousness of stealing from a fund that supports research and cancer care,’’ said Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Beth Lux, who handled the case. “I hope this sentence teaches Mr. Hayes’s 13-year-old son, who was present at the time of the theft, that stealing is wrong and will not be tolerated by the Athol police or the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.’’
Hayes began his sentence immediately following the trial.
The Jimmy Fund raises money for cancer research and patient care on behalf of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.