Burglar steals money intended for cancer patient - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Burglar steals money intended for cancer patient

Debbie Pennuto Debbie Pennuto
Craig Pennuto Craig Pennuto

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KAPOLEI (KHNL) - A Kapolei woman returned from church Sunday and found her home was broken into. Debbie Pennuto is devastated because the burglar stole the money she and her friends raised for a needy family this holiday season.

Friends say Pennuto is always thinking of others. On Saturday, she fed the homeless at Maili Beach Park. The next day, she taught 1st graders at Sunday School.

No one's surprised she's still thinking of others, even after being victimized.

Debbie Pennuto knows thou shalt not steal. But when she got home from church Sunday, she discovered her garage door was open, her husband's car was missing, and a screen in the back of the house was cut open.

"I just couldn't breathe," she said. "I was just so excited and it just seemed really surreal to me."

Inside was a giant mess. She says the thief grabbed laptop computers, video cameras and jewelry.

"It was just really unbelievable," she said. "And I felt very violated and kind of scared."

Also gone was the cash she and her friends raised for a Mililani couple whose daughter is battling cancer.

"They had fly to the mainland and they had to remove part of her leg," Pennuto said. "And from what I understand, they have massive medical bills. So we wanted to donate."

She says the small group of six women had collected about $130, and was determined to have at least $200 for the family by Christmas.

"It was difficult for me to have to tell my friends that I don't have the money now and that it is gone," she said. "And so that kind of hurt me the most."

Her husband is grateful she didn't get physically hurt.

"She could have come home earlier and the person could have been in the house," Craig Pennuto said. "And so to her to be faced with that situation, that's very disturbing for me."

Debbie, a cancer survivor herself, says, as a Christian, she can forgive.

Her husband's car, a gold-brown Infiniti G-35, is still missing. If you have any information about this case, call Honolulu police.

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