ST. CLOUD -- Instead of stealing Christmas, this year the Grinch is stealing from the Salvation Army.

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Major Mike Parker with the St. Cloud Salvation Army says within the last week, they've had three of their red kettles stolen.

Last Saturday we went to pick up the kettle at CashWise on Highway 10 and someone had taken the entire stand. Then last (Thursday) night we went to pick up two more kettles and someone used bolt cutters to take the kettles.

Parker says this is a first in his career that he can recall someone taking the kettles. He says they are working with the police to help identify who may have taken the kettles, but are asking residents to keep an eye out.

If you see something suspicious at a kettle site, if you could let the store know or give our office a call. We would just like to try and address this issue.

Parker says the holiday season, which includes the Red Kettle Campaign, makes up about a 1/3 of their overall budget. He says they are seeing a greater need for their services and the thefts are discouraging for the people they are trying to help.

Parker says they are roughly $5,000 behind last year at this time. They are also in need of more volunteer bell ringers to help this season.

Besides dropping money inside the kettles, you can also make a donation using your cell phone or you can send a check to the St. Cloud Salvation Army location.


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