Holiday home theft in Chester

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Matthew Kotowski's home on Ruffard Road is a popular spot for holiday home watchers. He appeared right here on NBC12 about two weeks ago. Today...this annual activity which brings so much fun for his family and cash to the St. Jude Children's Hospital, has a dismal someone tried to swipe the money headed to children in need.

Matthew Kotowski is a busy man during the holidays.

"This started at the end of October and we just finished it two or three days ago," Matthew said two weeks ago when he and his Ruffard Road home in Chester was featured during our Holiday Home segment. Today, Matthew is not fixing burned out lights...or finding new ways to spread Christmas cheer.

"They just broke the latch there," he showed us.

The Kotowski's are dealing with a crime.

"I found the box on my front porch, with a note in it. A neighbor, I actually had talked to him, said that he found it in his garbage can," said Matthew.

Sometime late Tuesday night, someone swiped a locked box that Matthew uses to collect money for St. Jude Children's hospital. This year he was on track for his biggest year in the 8 years they have been raising money for the charity. The donations come from all over the community.

"We had two little kids 8 and 9, they had a lemonade stand and they left a note, they donated all that from this summer for St. Jude," Matthew said.

Thankfully...the money was already taken in for the night. The crooks maybe only got some loose change, but the feeling Matthew is left with is unfortunate given the work he puts in every year.

"It's like someone just came and kicked you in the stomach," he said.

A set back...but not an end to an important holiday tradition.

"I know one thing is for sure, it is not going to dampen my spirit," he added.

Matthew is hoping to raise more than $1,000 this year for the St. Jude's Children's Hospital....more than double what they took in last year. He is investing in some cameras and a more secure box.

If you know anything about the theft, call Crime Solvers at 748-0660.

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