CARROLLWOOD, Fla. -- Someone broke into a popular barbecue restaurant overnight, stealing hundreds of dollars that were being raised to buy bicycles for children in need.
A large rock was thrown through the door at Alex's Bar-B-Q, at 5362 West Village Drive. The restaurant's soda machine was upended, since the donation box for the "Alex's X-Mas for Kids" program was chained to it. For 13 years, the restaurant has run the program, buying bicycles for kids and also accepting contributions from the community.
Owner Alex Cooks, a father of four, says he planned on taking the donations from his restaurant Sunday to purchase bicycles. He was very disheartened to find the shattered glass and stolen money, but is happy to see customers who have heard about the news coming in to contribute.
He says over the years the program has helped a lot of children, "We're over 13,000 bicycles - new bicycles."
His wife Aimee Cooks says this won't stop them from doing it either. "Nothing - not a rock - not a thief - not a criminal is going to stop us from continuing this mission that we have."
Alex's Bar-B-Q has been posting updates on its Facebook page, and has also created a PayPal account to accept donations.