ST. CHARLES, Ill. (CBS) — The Salvation Army Tri-City Corps in the western suburbs has lost up to $400, after a man fooled a bell-ringer into giving him a kettle full of cash.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Jackie Swike reports, St. Charles police tell the Kane County Chronicle the bell-ringer was collecting donations at the Jewel-Osco store at 2073 Prairie St. on the afternoon of Dec. 7, when a man who called himself John came up and told the bell ringer he was there to switch out the full kettle of cash with an empty one.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Jackie Swike reports

The bell-ringer handed over the kettle, and later called the Salvation Army to verify the story.

The Salvation Army told him he had been duped; they had not sent “John” to take the kettle, the Kane County Chronicle reported.

Police are now searching for “John,” who is described as white and about 40, standing about 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 160 to 180 pounds. He was wearing a sweat shirt and khaki pants, the newspaper reported.

Watch & Listen LIVE