(SALEM) - A Pekin man was arrested after he stole money intended on being used to purchase an infant's headstone.
25-year-old Cody Bloomfield was arrested and charged with felony robbery and remains incarcerated at the Washington County Detention Center.
According to police, Bloomfield stole between $80 to $100, that was in a jar at Cowboy's gas station in Salem.
The Leader Democrat reports that Dede Warren, Cowboy's general manager, had placed the jar in the store to collect money to pay for a headstone for 8-month-old Leelan Crain, who died after allegedly being beaten by his mother's boyfriend 24-year-old Jamie Lykins. Lykin is facing charges of battery resulting in death and neglect of a dependent. The baby's mother Casey Crain has also been charged with child neglect.
Leelan was taken to St. Vincent Salem Hospital on Sept. 7 after being found bruised and not breathing well and only semi-conscious. He was then flown by helicopter to Kosair Children's Hospital where he died in the early morning hours of Sept. 8.
According to an autopsy report, Leelan died from blunt force trauma to the head and had various levels of bruising and other signs of abuse.
According to Salem Police Assistant Chief Joey Wheeler, on Saturday September 14, a man - later identified as Bloomfield - entered Cowboys and approached the counter with some items. After the clerk gave him change, the man began arguing with her and insisting he gave her a $50 bill. The clerk had no $50s in her drawer.
Bloomfield then asked for a free pack of "smokes" and an application. The clerk refused to give him either.
Bloomfield then asked for rolling papers and when the clerk moved to the other end of the counter to retrieve them, Bloomfield allegedly took the lid off the donation canister and was taking the money.
The clerk turned and saw what Bloomfield was doing and yelled at him to stop. Bloomfield told the clerk he was putting money inside the container, but the clerk told Bloomfield he didn't need to take the lid off to put money inside.
The clerk then attempted to grab the money in Bloomfield's hand, but he grabbed it back, dropped a dollar bill in the container and left the store.
The clerk called police.
Police reviewed the surveillance video and were able to identify Bloomfield.
He was questioned September 17 and denied stealing the money, but he then told police that he had taken Xany bars the day the money was taken and didn't remember what happened.
He was arrested the next day.
Warren has not been deterred by the theft. As far as thieves go, she say, this one is among the lowest of the lowlifes.
Warren says her customers have been great at raising money for whatever causes have been needed and collections will continue for this baby's headstone at Cowboy's as well as Gracie's Quick Pic and the First Harrison Bank.
More than $500 has been collected so far and will go directly to the monument company to pay for the headstone.
Warren says none of the money will go to the family, "only to purchase Leelan a wonderful headstone".
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