MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) — Police arrested a man for taking advantage of the kindness of others, but the victims are not letting the alleged grinch destroy their giving spirit.
James Murkerson is accused of stealing almost $7,500 in cash and Visa gift cards, which were meant to be a gift for Jeanine Carroll, a RealtySouth employee who is suffering from terminal cancer.
“We were all, I think, disgusted,” said John McGill, a broker at RealtySouth.
Murkerson was the security guard for RealtySouth, and a friend of Jeanine’s.
“They’d both been here about the same length of time, were always friendly, talking to each other,” McGill said. “He would be in the parking lot and she would go out there and talk.”
The arrest comes two days after RealtySouth employees, including Murkerson, re-raised the money, and then some, and gave it to Carroll.
Some employees said they were suspicious of Murkerson after the money had gone missing.
“Someone had to know when to get in the office, and there were only so many people that knew how to do that,” McGill said. “(Murkerson) was one of them.”
McGill said Murkerson was a friendly, personable employee.
“The irony to me, knowing the people here, we would have all done the same thing for him,” McGill said. “If he had been ill, we would have helped him any way we could have.”
The theft also brought forth a more pleasant surprise.
McGill said once word got out about Carroll’s story, donations have poured in from outside the office, and outside the Birmingham area.
“It really has brought out the good in most people,” McGill said. “I think the moral of the story is that we won. Adversity did not get us. It will not get Jeanine. And we rallied, and the community rallied and we won.”
Murkerson is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on $25,000 bond.
Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News