Peoria dad saves the day after thief steals from lemonade stand - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Peoria dad saves the day after thief steals from lemonade stand

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -

Lemonade stands are a great way for kids to earn some money and even make new friends, but for two Peoria kids things got sour fast when someone stole their earnings.

The incident happened Tuesday afternoon when a 16-year-old boy came up to the stand looking to buy some lemonade.

"As I was pouring the cup, he looked both ways and stole my money, my tip jar, and ran across the street. He ran that way. I told my dad, I cried to my dad like this guy stole my tip jar," 11-year-old Julian Ericson said.

Julian's father Eric Ericson sprang into action to find the person who stole his son's money with the help of two neighborhood girls who saw it happen.

"[The girls] said, 'hey he fell over here he twisted his ankle' and so I ran and checked it out. Once I got to the end of the street I turned the corner and didn't see anybody but then I caught, just out of the corner of my eye, a guy who fit the description getting into a car," Eric Ericson said.

Ericson eventually caught up with the car and got the boy to return the money. He says next time he plans to do things differently to make sure something like this sour incident does not happen again.

"One, we're not going to keep the money as a big temptation for anybody in that situation. We're going to have him put it somewhere safe, give it back to us," he said.

"Two, we're going to be out here, either my wife or I, the whole time making sure everything is safe."

Though, the kids are not letting this stop them from making money.

"It's a really good experience and it's really creative because I can meet all these kinds of people," 9-year-old Molly Ericson said.

"I won't let one bad apple spoil my lemonade," Julian Ericson said.

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