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Anderson police looking for donation thief accused of stealing money for kids in need

ANDERSON, Ind.- Police are looking for a man accused of stealing money meant to help children in need.

Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for 42-year-old Anthony Stevens.

Police believe Stevens pretended he was associated with an organization collecting donations for Anderson Police Department’s Cops & Kids program. The Cops & Kids program buys Christmas gifts for underprivileged children.

“I was angry,” said Tessa Guarin, manager at Kettle Top Brewhouse.

Guarin says she received a phone call from a man soliciting donations during her shift.

An hour after she agreed to help, Guarin says Stevens showed up at Kettle Top Brewhouse to collect a $50 check and $20 cash from her. Stevens allegedly even handed her receipts with a stamped FOP logo and a signed letter.

“Based on the paperwork that he had, the lengths that he took to make it look like a legitimate operation this tells us this is not his first time and there are possibly other victims out there,” said Major Joel Sandefur with the Anderson Police Department.

Ironically, when Stevens stopped at the brewery, Anderson’s assistant police chief was there picking up a food order, police said.

The assistant police chief asked Stevens some questions and an investigation was quickly launched.

“It was kind of lucky,” said Guarin.

Guarin feels using a charitable organization to steal is not only taking advantage of people’s generosity, it’s also taking from kids who need help the most.

“It’s just not the right thing to do to steal from kids. I mean what kind of person are you? Why would you ever think that would be ok,” said Guarin.

Stevens has been in trouble in the past for financial crimes. Detectives aren’t sure how long he’s been pretending to collect donations for how many businesses or neighborhoods he may have hit.

“He’s someone we need to get and hold accountable for this,” said Sandefur.

If you have any information about Stevens, if you feel you’ve been a victim, or if you would like to donate to the Cops & Kids program call Anderson Police Department.