Salvation Army kettle stolen during bell ringer's break

- Lori Taylor was all set add a few bucks to the Salvation Army kettle Thursday afternoon when she learned a kettle was stolen December 19 from her neighborhood Kroger on Powder Springs Road.

“I am sick over this! This is supposed to be the season of giving. If you’re that hard up, go to your church, your family, your friends! That just breaks my heart,” Powell said in shock as she stood near the store entrance.

Salvation Army Captain Chris Powell said the kettle was taken from inside the store at the customer service station just after 4 p.m. Monday. He said the bell ringer left it there, following Salvation Army protocol, before he went on break.

“He had gone back to pick it up and customer service couldn’t find it... when it was brought to the store manager’s attention, he looked at surveillance video and saw that someone had reached over, taken it and walked right out the door with it,” Captain Powell said.

“To take something from those who really in need just isn’t right. Everyone knows that money is supposed to go to help people. This is the season to be jolly and that’s not really jolly,” said Kroger Shopper Beverly Paul.

Captain Powell said there’s no telling how much money was in the kettle by the time it was stolen--perhaps hundreds of dollars or more.

“That short changes our youth programs and other social services that we provide to people in need right here in Cobb County. Those dollars go to this community, so we still need people to keep giving,” said Powell, who has worked with the Salvation Army for nearly 20 years. He hopes store surveillance video helps Cobb Police catch the perp, but said he is praying for that person as well.

“It is a possibility that someone thought this was the only thing they could do. Sometimes people get to their wits end and don’t know what else to do. I pray they can figure those things out,” Powell said standing not far from the replacement kettle near the store entrance.

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