GLENDALE (WITI) -- A Salvation Army Red Kettle was stolen at approximately 6:30 p.m. at the Pick 'n Save near Silver Spring and Green Bay Avenue on Monday night, December 23rd -- and we are told the thief cut the kettle off the stand right in front of a bell ringer.
"It's unfortunate people are so desperate. Actually cut off the kettle stand in front of the bell ringer," Faith Colas with the Salvation Army said.
“We are grateful no customers or our bell ringer were harmed. That’s most important," said Major Dan Jennings, Salvation Army Divisional Commander for Wisconsin & Upper Michigan.
It is unclear how much money was inside the Red Kettle at the time of the theft, but the Salvation Army estimates between $200 and $500.
“We’re cooperating with the Glendale Police Department and ask the public to join us. If anyone has information that can lead to the recovery of our Red Kettle, please call the Glendale Police Department at 414-228-1753,” said Major Jennings.
Another Red Kettle robbery was attempted earlier in the day at the Sam’s Club on Calumet. That robbery attempt was unsuccessful.
“We are just hours away from putting the Red Kettles away until next year. A later Thanksgiving did impact the Christmas campaign and now a robbery. We are concerned, but remain hopeful. Donations from the Red Kettle Christmas Campaign support critical year round programming and services for families living in Milwaukee County,” said Jennings.
Eighty four cents of every dollar donated supports Salvation Army year round programs and services, and the Salvation Army says it is $80,000 short of its goal this year.
Here in Milwaukee County the Salvation Army operates 85 programs. Those programs and services include but are not limited to Christmas assistance, Christmas Family Feast, disaster relief, emergency housing, food and clothing, utility and rent assistance, employment services and summer lunch programs for children.
Though the bell ringers go away after Christmas Eve, donations are still being accepted through the end of January.
To learn more about The Salvation Army visit www.SAmilwaukee.org.