Two young men stole the dreams of a group of teenage girls and their horses when they snatched a donation jar at Four Corners Market in Corralitos Friday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office reported.
The jar had about $300 in it when one young man distracted the clerk so the second could grab the cash, deputy April Skalland said.
The donation jar was a fundraiser for Gwen Davies Horsemanship, a rescue group that rehabiliates Araiban horses so they can compete again. Five girls, ages 13-17, have been working with a group of horses and planned to take them to a competition in Washington State. The jar was one way the teen were raising money for gas, food, lodging and entrance fees, Skalland said.
In response to the theft, the Deputy Sheriff's Association in Santa Cruz and the Sheriff's Posse each donated $300 to the girls, Skalland said. The groups also are helping the girls find a trailer to take their horses north.
Skalland said she hoped the community also would come together for the teens with donations, or with tips to lead to the arrest of the thieves.
The theft happened about 1:45 p.m. Friday at the market, at the corner of Amesti and Pioneer roads north of Watsonville. To donate to the rescue group, click here.
Anyone with information about the thieves (pictured on the right) can call the Sheriff's Office at 471-1151.