Heroin Addict Robs Girl Scouts to Get His Fix

By Paul Gaita 02/26/15

Cody Phillip Gintz said he was "desperate" to feed his addiction.

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Heroin addiction drove a California man to steal money raised from cookie sales by Girl Scouts to buy his next fix. Construction worker Cody Phillip Gintz, 23, was held in the San Jose Main Jail after police arrested him for allegedly stealing $300 in cash from Girl Scouts selling cookies outside of a local area Safeway.

On February 22, Gintz was reportedly in the grips of what he described as “pretty intense” heroin withdrawal and was without the funds to buy more when he spotted the Girl Scouts from Troop 601-60 collecting money from sales in a lunchbox. Gintz reportedly grabbed the lunchbox and ran off, leaving a pack of screaming Scouts and troop leaders behind him.

After pocketing $300 in cash, he tossed the lunchbox in a creek, and then returned to the Safeway parking lot to retrieve his car. There, troop mother Michelle Contos spotted Gintz and contacted the police with his license plate number.

Gintz was arrested on two counts of robbery and held on $50,000 bail before his arraignment today. He expressed remorse for his decision, which was fueled entirely by his addiction. “Normally, I would never try this,” he said during a jailhouse interview. “But I was desperate, so I tried.”

Police not only retrieved the cash and the lunchbox, but also bought out the remaining supply of the troop’s cookies and added an additional $60. The troop plans to use the money to fund a water conservation project.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.