Salvation Army remains upbeat despite theft of collection bin

CREATED Dec. 24, 2013 - UPDATED: Dec. 24, 2013

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GLENDALE – Just hours before Christmas Eve, someone stole a Red Kettle from the Salvation Army. It happened around 6:30 p.m. Monday at a Pick n’ Save on 17th Street and Silver Spring in Glendale.

Faithe Colas, Community Relations Director for The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County said the Glendale robbery was the second attempted theft of a Red Kettle that day. A previous attempt to steal a kettle from Sam’s Club in Calumet was unsuccessful.

The organization believes the two incidents could involve the same suspect or suspects. During the first attempt in Calumet, thieves realized they were unable to cut the Red Kettle from the stand. When someone took the kettle from Glendale, they brought along a larger tool.

Colas spoke with “Wisconsin’s Morning News” on 620 WTMJ Tuesday morning. She said the theft was a hit to the organization.

“It’s not a large amount of money,” said Colas. “But nonetheless, it’s still a hit. What we do with helping families in Milwaukee County, any amount is critical to meeting that service.”

Colas told “Wisconsin’s Morning News” none of the bell ringers were injured during the incidents. She reminded everyone about the importance of being aware of potential thefts during the holiday season.

“We all have to be on alert,” stressed Colas. “Because there are people that live in our community that don’t have the best interest of everyone at heart. “

Colas hoped the theft wouldn’t change people’s minds about becoming bell ringers. Christmas Eve is the final day for the Red Kettle Campaign collections. The Salvation Army said donations are down about $80,000 compared to this same time last year.

Donations by mail or online will be accepted through the end of January 2014. More information can be found here.

Glendale Police officers are working with the Salvation Army to try and catch the thief or thieves, but they could use some help from the public. Anyone with information about the incidents or information about the person or persons involved is asked to contact the Glendale Police Department. 

Click here for the podcast from “Wisconsin’s Morning News” on 620 WTMJ.