Woman Suspected Of Stealing From Tip & Donation Jars Arrested

SALLISAW (KFSM) -- UPDATE: Andrea Lyons was arrested Saturday (Aug. 6) morning, according to Sallisaw Police Captain Jeff Murray.

She was spotted inside the Choctaw Nation Casino and was taken into custody by the Choctaw Nation Tribal Police, Murray said.

The Sallisaw Police Department issued a warrant for petty larceny for Andrea Lyons, after she stole donation and tip jars from businesses in the River Valley and Oklahoma. Other law enforcement agencies are working with Sallisaw Police to investigate the thefts.

Waitresses at Cazadores Mexican Restaurant said they called the police after Lyons took a donation jar for a child with cerebral palsy right off their counter.

"She walked in and she told me that she worked for Human Services, and that she was going to pick up both [donation jars]," waitress,, Sara Hernandez said. "When I [saw] that she was picking up the money, I asked, 'what are you doing?'"

Police said Lyons has walked into liquor stores and restaurants and swapped out the full donation jars for new ones, taking the money with her.

"We have six businesses here in town that this has happened where the jars and jugs have been stolen," Murray said. "Two liquor stores, a Mexican restaurant, Charlie's Chicken, Western Sizzlin', and 18-Wheeler Diner that are here just in Sallisaw."

Lyon has also taken container from businesses in Fort Smith, Muldrow, Poteau, Alma, and Van Buren.

"I [didn't] think that somebody was going to come and steal from a sick child," Hernandez said. "I'm a very honest person, so I never thought that she was not honest, that she was stealing."

Captain Murray said Lyons is not only breaking the law, but she is stealing from those in need.

"She's stealing from all these people," Murray said. "There's a lot bigger picture. The money she's getting out of these jugs, she's stealing from these families that are in need."

Police said Lyons has taken donation or tip jars from the following businesses in the River Valley and Oklahoma:

Captain Murray said Lyons was driving a Chevrolet HHR with an Oklahoma License Plate and has lived in the Pocola area.

If you have any information about the donation jar thefts, please contact the River Valley Crimestoppers at 78-CRIME.

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