Red kettle donations drop significantly in Roanoke Valley

Ezekiel-Elliott-090517-USNews-Getty-FTR

Ezekiel-Elliott-090517-USNews-Getty-FTR

- The Blaine Police Department is hoping the public can help identify two people who stole a Salvation Army donation kettle from outside a Cub Foods.

Police Chief Brian Podany says the theft happened Tuesday around 2:30 p.m.

"We have received positive feedback from donors and community members, but it is just one location, so not a lot of people know about it yet", she said. "That someone would do that, it's the principle - regardless of how much was in the kettle at the time". Surveillance showed the suspect leaving with the kettle and pocketing some of the money while he was ringing the bell.

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The Salvation Army said every year there are some age ranges - often infants and older children - that see fewer donations than others, but this year organizers are dealing with "no toys coming in at all".

They have 42 kettle sites, but they only have enough volunteers for about 20 of them. If caught, the suspects will likely face felony charges, including damage to property and possession of a theft tool.

"I mean I didn't really expect a fine, really don't care about the fine", Elliott said Wednesday.

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