Margate police make arrest in theft from children's charity

Would-be accomplice turns in thief after seeing story on news, police say

MARGATE, Fla. – A homeless man has been arrested after police said he stole a trailer filled with goods meant to benefit a Broward County children's charity. The man's would-be accomplice turned the thief in after he discovered where the stolen goods came from, police said.

Andres William Pena, 52, faces several charges, including burglary and grand theft. 

The trailer was carrying inventory for a thrift store run by Tomorrow's Rainbow, an organization that helps children and their families cope with the loss of a loved one. Proceeds from the store, in the 5400 block of West Sample Road, help the organization provide its services to children free of charge.

Police were able to recover the trailer and some of the items inside Monday.

Police said Pena went to another homeless man, Christian Glover, to help him with "a job," but when Glover saw the story about Tomorrow's Rainbow on the news he contacted police.

"My buddies they just go out and do what they do and I was involved. My girlfriend and I looked up and saw it on TV, and I immediately called the authorities and said, 'This is.not.right.'"

Glover said he spends his days on the streets doing odd jobs. He wants a steady one.

"I just want work. I am not looking for handouts or anything like that. I just want a job," Glover said.

Sgt. Robert Kriplean was so touched that Glover came forward that he knew he had to help him.

"It touched a lot of us," Kriplean said.

Tomorrow’s Rainbow founder Abby Mosher was moved as well.

"It restores my hope that there are awesome people out there. Even when their circumstances may be dire," Mosher said. "He certainly didn't need to go the extra mile, and I wanna show my gratitude to him and help him get back on his feet."

Pena appeared in court Tuesday, where Broward County Judge Kim Mollica set his bond at $10,000. Prosecutors said he had prior criminal history, including arrests for driving while under the influence and trespassing.

Pena is currently being held at Broward County's Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale.

Anyone willing to help Glover can contact Kriplean at the Margate Police Department at 954-914-8013.