"If there was a Girl Scout badge for being gutsy, two Texas Scouts would be first in line," says Erica Ho at TIME. On Saturday, 15-year-olds Rachel Johnson and Iravia Cotton were selling Girl Scout cookies with their troop outside a Houston-area Wal-Mart when a thief allegedly came up, grabbed the cash box, and ran to a getaway car. Johnson and Cotton didn't let the $200 go without a fight — or a bit of spilled blood. Here, a look at "the most adorable true crime story you'll hear all day":
Around 2 p.m. on Saturday, after selling boxes of Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, and Tagalongs for four hours, the girls of San Jacinto Council Troop 29512 were approached by a young man asking about the cost and varieties of cookies. Then his friend drove up in a dark Toyota Camry with white paper covering the plates, the thief allegedly grabbed the girls' cash box, and tried to make a quick getaway. Rachel Johnson grabbed the back of the car, and was dragged behind it when it sped off. Iravia Cotton tells local TV station KHOU that when she ran after the thieves, "they tried to hit me with the car. I started hitting the boy that was in the passenger seat, so I think he learned his lesson a little bit."
Was anybody hurt?
Cotton hurt her lip, and Johnson suffered some minor scrapes and bruises. It's unclear if the suspects, who are still at large, were injured by Cotton's fists — but the girls are hoping. "Who steals from a Girl Scout? I mean, seriously, it's like the worst thing ever," Johnson tells KHOU. "I hope your face hurts from when Iravia punched you — jerks!"
Do the Girl Scouts have to eat the stolen cash?
Ordinarily they would. Under Girl Scout policy, scouts are financially accountable for any cookies they order. But this time, "the troop is not being held responsible for the stolen money," says Mona Talbert of the San Jacinto Council.
Is there a lesson in all of this?
The message is pretty obvious, says TIME's Ho: "Don't mess with Texas, and definitely do not mess with these Scouts." Maybe, says Tommy Christopher at Mediaite. But "I would be remiss if I didn't urge every girl, boy, man, and woman not to jump onto a moving car in pursuit of criminals." Johnson and Cotton "definitely earned their merit badges in Badass," but come on: "Money (and even delicious Girl Scout cookies) can be replaced." And in the end, the thieves got away, says Louis Peitzman at Gawker. So "in addition to learning that sometimes violence is the best option, these girls can take away another valuable lesson: Life just isn't fair."