DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — Joining the Girl Scouts Troop 709 in Carlisle has already been impactful for Marah Pearce, Madison Williams, and Abby Hugen.

“A whole bunch of my friends are from Girl Scouts and that’s how I met them,” said Abby who is nine-years-old.

Ten-year-old Marah Pearce says they’ve learned life lessons at an early age, “You should always be kind to other people.”

On Saturday the three girls, two parents and troop leader Peggy Hugen had a cookie selling booth in front of the Hy-Vee on Army Post Road in Des Moines.

“It’s not easy to put yourself out there in front of people and get rejected,” Hugen said.

Police reports say just before 11:00 a.m. a young teenager 14 or 15 years old pretending to be a customer in line while the girls sold cookies taught an unfortunate and ugly lesson.

“We were helping another customer and then he was there and when the other customer left he just snatched and ran,” said Marah.

Nine-year-old Madison added, “This guy came up and acted like he was going to buy cookies. Then he just stole the donation box and ran off.”

The donation box is essentially a tip jar along with money from people not necessarily buying cookies but had around $200 in it.

“It made me disappointed that people would do that but also made me wonder why he did it?” Abby asked.

The girls were shaken. “When someone hurts that it is heartbreaking and I kind of wanted to turn into mamma bear,” Hugen said.

It was money the girls hoped to help others with. “We think we were going to give it to some people who have to go in and out of cars to do covid tests,” said Abby.

Surveillance cameras are visible in the area where the theft occurred but the suspect took off behind the Target next door and towards nearby apartments.

“They learned in their business there is loss. There are bad things that happen and you have to roll with it,” Hugen said.

After seeing their resilience, Hy-Vee is stepping in and donating $200 to the troop.

Marah added, “The majority of people are good people and one bad thing that happened ant just affect my whole place in Girl Scouts.”

Police are searching for the young teenager seen on Saturday wearing a red hoody, black mask and a camo green backpack. As for Troop 709, the girls will be back at the Southridge Hy-Vee this Friday evening from 4 pm to 6 pm selling cookies and raising money to help others in the community.