Salvation Army Suffers Thefts; Donations Down

December 10, 2012

The Salvation Army says two of its red donation kettles have been stolen in Colorado Springs this season. And, as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, the campaign’s money troubles run deeper than that.

The two kettles were stolen a week apart outside different Walmart stores. A thief grabbed the first kettle Nov. 30th at the Walmart near Chapel Hills Mall. The second was lifted Friday outside the East Woodman store. Salvation Army Major John Bennett says in both cases, one suspect distracted the bellringer while another grabbed the pot. Bennett also says it's pretty uncommon.

"In 2010 we had one that was stolen, and then 2011, none. So to have two in two weeks, that’s kind of disturbing."

Bennett says the police are investigating and they do have a license plate number and other descriptors. Meanwhile, donations to the Red Kettle campaign are lagging. Bennett says they’ve collected about $35,000 less than they had at this time last year. The campaign funds local services, such as food and housing for the needy.