The owner of East Haven Discount Wine and Liquors, Hiten Patel, was collecting the funds for the Smilow Cancer Hospital. Patel previously told Channel 3 he was treated with care and compassion at the Smilow Cancer Hospital when he was suffering from tongue cancer over the summer.
"The people at Smilow took care of me like my own family," Patel previously told Channel 3. "Seeing those little kids with cancer just broke me down one day when I was on the floor. So I said I’m going to pay it back."
Following the release of the video to the media, police said "tips came pouring in from the community" and Bova was identified as the suspect in the theft.
"This theft occurred during the time of year where people tend to feel the most generous. We do not want this incident to discourage people from donating to important causes like this in the future. We want to thank the community for their help in identifying the person responsible for this theft," East Haven Police Lt. Joseph M. Murgo said in a statement on Saturday.
Bova turned herself into police on Friday and was released on a $500 bond. She is expected to be arraigned in court on Dec. 29.
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