TODAY   |  March 15, 2014

Girl Scouts selling cookies help catch alleged shoplifter

Not only honest and brave, a group of Texas Girl Scouts are also are also crime fighters. The group of girls noticed a grocery story customer acting in a very suspicious manner, and alerted adults. TODAY’s Ron Allen reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to a group of girl scouts in katy, texas, who are living up to their motto of making the world a better place. ron allen has the story of some eagle eyed girls in green who can also now call themselves crime-fighters.

>> reporter: the day began innocently enough. haley matthews and her fellow girl scouts selling cookies with their moms at a local grocery store . but then, always vigilant, they saw a shopper pushing a cart that seemed a bit suspicious.

>> he was stealing a lot of stuff.

>> reporter: nothing in the cart was bagged. the man was rolling it toward the front door. haley 's mom had spotted the guy earlier.

>> he had just pushed his cart back into the corner, just kind of like he was hiding from us.

>> reporter: the girls knew they had to do something. the scouting motto, decades old, in the back of their minds. "a girl scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. willingness to serve is not enough. you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency."

>> we caught a bad guy .

>> reporter: quickly, the girl scouts alerted a manager, who called police, who caught two shoplifters red-handed with a cart full of loot.

>> wine, high-end appliances, a lot of stuff.

>> reporter: total value, $2,000 $2,000. at the store, the manager gave haley and her fellow scouts was very sweet.

>> she bought $100 worth of cookies.

>> reporter: cookies and a unique merit badge , their photo on display, a warning for all would-be thieves to see. a day selling cookies that became a chance to serve their community fighting crime. for "today," ron allen , nbc news.

>> you were that kind of girl scout , right?

>> i couldn't even sell cookies. do you know how easy it is to sell cookies? and i couldn't even do that.