Thieves loot charity firework stand in Independence - KCTV5

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Thieves loot charity firework stand in Independence

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INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

A firework stand raising money for a local charity was robbed, potentially costing them thousands of dollars.

The firework stand located near U.S. Highway 40 and Noland Road was set up to help homeless and battered women with Hillcrest Ministries.

However, the stand itself was robbed at gunpoint about 4 a.m. Wednesday. Police are looking for three men who robbed and carjacked a security guard.

Anthony Thompson wins the father of the year award, this Fourth of July. He wanted to help a charity in need, so that was why he came to Hillcrest Ministries' other firework stand in Lee's Summit.

"It's great to contribute some of my money to help someone," he said.

But unfortunately, much of the supply was stolen.

Police said at least two of the men were armed with handguns. The security guard was the only person at the tent at the time.

Tent operators say thieves distracted a security guard, saying their car had broken down.

When he went over to help, they robbed him at gunpoint, took his wallet, as well as his van, loaded it with nearly $5,000 of fireworks and then drove off. It appears the men only took fireworks because there was no money inside the tent.

"Your goal is to bless a ministry and be able to benefit that ministry and then you have somebody do something like this it's a negative impact," said R.E. Morton with Lighthouse Fireworks.

Hillcrest Ministries is a 90-day housing program for homeless families and the stand was a huge fundraiser for them.

"It just takes money from our program and the less people we can help," said Parlena Campbell with Hillcrest Ministries.

The security guard was not injured.

"We hope folks will come out and make up the difference, but we're going to move forward," Morton said.

Hillcrest will now search for other ways to try and make up for that lost money.

Morton said he was already brought in a new truck of fireworks to make up for what was taken.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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