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Thief steals Salvation Army kettle in Randallstown

salvation army kettle
Posted at 9:48 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 17:10:15-05

RANDALLSTOWN, Md. — Ringing their bells for hours on end in the cold, the Salvation Army’s bell ringers are volunteers, like a 75-year-old gentleman in Randallstown who has been doing it for 25 years.

“The gentleman has very bad knees, but he loves the Salvation Army,” said Salvation Army Capt. Michael Chisolm. “This is his ministry. One of the things he always tells our bell ringers, ‘Your change helps change people’s lives.

That same ringer had been at it for eight straight hours on Monday, when from a seemingly endless stream of givers came a single taker.

“I saw like this commotion. I was just thinking people were kind of grouping around the kettle, and the Grinch showed up and stole the bucket,” recounted Chisolm.

It appears the man had cased the bell ringer and his kettle for some time before approaching as if he meant to donate, plucking the kettle from its stand and running off through the nearby woods with it.

It’s estimated the kettle contained $600, but the loss can’t be measured in dollars alone.

“Donations are down a lot. Our goal this year is $70,000 for Baltimore Temple and we’re only at like $23,000 so it’s been tough all over and this is what really hurts,” said Chisolm. “So when they take away from us, even $600, it really affects us. Like I say, not only the emotional trauma of what that bell ringer experienced, but the trauma of not being able to give a toy to a kid on Christmas morning.”

If you would like to help the Salvation Army make up for its loss, you can find kettles set up outside Walmart, Sam’s Club, Giant and Safeway stores throughout the area.