Donation jar for woman’s funeral costs stolen from Chesapeake store

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Stealing from the dead: That’s what one suspect did when he stuffed a donation jar into his bag.

The jar was on the counter of a Chesapeake convenience store and was there to raise money for a woman’s funeral costs.

“Who could take money from a dead person?” Michelle Winters asked.

It’s a question friends of a woman who suddenly passed away last week can’t wrap their heads around.

“It’s hurtful, it’s shameful and it’s senseless,” added Tamala Nicole.

Jennifer Adams, a longtime Chesapeake resident, died from surgery complications on Friday.

“She was everything to everybody,” said Adams’ friend Nicole.

“She was my everything so this completely tore me to pieces,” said Winters, Adams’ goddaughter.

Friends wanted to help Jennifer’s 19-year-old daughter pay for funeral costs. They put out donation jars in several stores, but the one at Smokers Choice on 22nd Street disappeared Monday night.

“You see the man opening his bag acting like he’s looking through his bag and he quickly grabs the donation jar and walks out,” Winters added.

“Anger,” Nicole said. “Instant anger.”

The feelings of pain are now multiplied. Precious money is gone.

“This was literally just money to put her to rest,” Winters said.

It’s now friends and family who can’t rest and they say they won’t until the person who swiped the jar is found.

“She was a well-loved person and none of us want to see him get way with a crime like that,” Winters added.

“He wasn’t thinking at all and he had no respect and no remorse for what this would do to our family,” Nicole said.

Family and friends are still planning Jennifer’s funeral next week. It will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, at Metropolitan Funeral Services, 120 West Berkley Avenue. Friends have set up an online fundraiser to help pay for funeral costs.