CHICAGO (CBS) — The search is on for the individual who stole two Salvation Army red kettles from outside a Michigan Avenue store twice in the past week.
The first theft was during the afternoon of Dec. 12 from outside Neiman Marcus, 737 North Michigan Avenue. The second was during the afternoon of Dec. 15.
The thefts cost the Salvation Army nearly $1,000 in lost equipment and donations.
Salvation Army Lieutenant Colonel Charles Smith says in both incidents, the kettles were taken as the bell ringer assigned to them was away from their post.
“While the bell ringer was taking a necessity break, a person walked up, took the kettle, the stand, the sign, and just proceeded to walk down Michigan Avenue,” Smith said.
According to Smith, the kettles and the stands each weigh between 75 and 100 pounds.
“All of our kettles are locked to the stands. If we were going to be done with the shift, we would leave the stand but take the kettles. So if someone sees someone walking with the full stand, that’s something to question,” Smith said.
The Salvation Army is worried that whoever took the kettles may have set them up elsewhere and are taking in donations people think are going to help the less fortunate.
The thefts were caught on security cameras, which police are reviewing.