Salvation Army red kettle stolen

Published On: Dec 06 2012 05:00:31 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 06 2012 05:35:42 PM CST
HUMBLE, Texas -

Humble police said someone stole a red kettle from a bell ringer at Deerbrook Mall.

Investigators said the theft happened at the mall, which is on F.M. 1960 at U.S. 59 on Nov. 27. 

Police said a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt walked up, pushed down a bell ringer and said he wanted the money in the kettle. 

The bell ringer then ran inside the Dillard's store and the man took off with the kettle, investigators said. 

Police said an estimated $200 was inside the kettle.

"It takes from those who are in need," said Major Chris Flanagan of the Salvation Army.  "The monies that are received in the red kettles, it goes to support the needs of people in our community. When someone takes like that, it hurts that effort."

Detectives said the thief was between 23 and 25 years old and stood 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall.  Investigators are looking at a nearby store's surveillance video.

The Salvation Army is trying to raise $1.4 million this holiday season.  The group said it was running about $200,000 behind because the kettle program started a little later this year.