Donation jars for veterans, fallen firefighter’s family stolen from Raymore gas station

RAYMORE, Mo. -- A brazen thief has stolen hundreds of dollars in donations from the Freedom Stop Gas Station in Raymore.

Freedom Stop is a family-owned business that’s known for supporting veterans and first-responders. They’re also big on helping the community. The owners regularly collect donations for people or causes in metro area.

Early Thursday morning two donation bins were stolen.

“At about 12:15 last night, two young men came in and kept my clerk busy, one of them, and then the other one grabbed the containers,” said store co-owner Ray Clifton.

Store surveillance video caught the thieves on camera. After stealing the jars, they ran to a car parked in a nearby church parking lot and drove away.

Watch the surveillance footage in the video player above.

Shana Coppedge is the wife of Raymore firefighter Jason Coppedge, who passed away unexpectedly in November. One of the donations bins that was stolen was meant to help support her and her children through this difficult time.

“I didn’t even know this was going on, and I said 'I can’t believe you guys would do this for us,'” Coppedge said.

She said the past month has been harder than she ever could have imagined.

“I had my world ripped away from me," she said. "I had my life ripped away from me. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I’m mad. I’m so mad that those years got taken away from me."

But the support she’s received from family, the community and firefighters has helped her push through.

“I’m just truly grateful, just truly, deeply grateful for everyone's love and support,” she said.

Store owners said despite this setback, they’ll continue to support the Coppedge family and others who serve the community.

“We got to keep going no matter how hard people want to hurt you or bring you down," Clifton said. "It’s the right thing to do. We’re not going to run and hide."

The donation jars have been replaced, and money was pouring in throughout Thursday. In the meantime, store owners hope someone can identify the men in the surveillance video and contact police.