Waterford police have identified a man accused of stealing a donation jar from a gas station.
The theft happened at the Hess gas station on Boston Post Road.
The money was being collected for Friday's Rescue Foundation in Groton, which helps needy animals.
"It may be change, but money isn't easy to come by," Hess gas station manager Jeremy Grabel said. "And the few pennies that people put in, couple of dollars, that means a lot to them."
Police said the man distracted the clerk by asking for an item behind him while concealing the donation jar under his shirt.
"Customers coming in and out and a gentleman walked in from across the street," Grabel said. "Came in, asked for a pack of cigarettes. Obviously, he was up to ulterior motives."
Grabel said it took him a few days to realize the jar was gone.
"Even if it was just change in the jar, that's a lot of money to us," Mary DePasquale with Friday's Rescue Foundation said.
Friday's Rescue Foundation opened four years ago. It rescues and rehabilitates middle-aged and older dogs.
"We were disappointed and discouraged," DePasquale said. "We really rely on the generosity of people to help us continue our mission and rescue these sweet little babies."
There are 40 dogs at Friday's Rescue Foundation, so the donations are used "for medication, for supplies, cleaning supplies, housing, obviously to run the building," DePasquale said.
As the foundation moves past the setback, they said they know people believe in what they do and that will keep their doors open.
"I think that makes up for the disappointment I talked about earlier," DePasquale said. "It gives us encouragement when people thank us for what we do."
If you're in the Waterford area on Friday and need to fill up, the gas station will donate 10 cents of every gallon to Friday's Rescue Foundation.
The brazen crime hit a nerve with hundreds of people and more than a thousand people have shared the suspect's photo on Facebook.
On Tuesday, police said an arrest warrant is expected.
Anyone with information should call Waterford Police Department at 860-447-1456.
For more information on Fridays Rescue Foundation, click here.
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