There was the Grinch who stole Christmas, and then there was the person who stole the red Salvation Army kettle at the Waverly Giant on Tuesday afternoon.
The alleged incident took place in front of the grocery store on 33rd Street, according to Salvation Army spokesman Ryan Vincent.
The bell ringer, a Salvation Army employee, said that a woman in her 40s removed the kettle from its hook while a bell ringer was talking with a potential donor.
The employee reported the theft to police, and the Salvation Army asks anyone with information to contact the Baltimore Police Department, Vincent said.
Contacted Tuesday evening, police spokesman Jeremy Silbert said dispatchers had no record of a call for service at the location. But a manager who answered the phone at Giant confirmed the incident took place but declined to comment beyond that.
Salvation Army spokeswoman Janeen Johnally said, “Someone took it off the stand. … We’re kind of just hoping that someone will come forward.”
Vincent said the kettle likely had anywhere from $100 to $200 in it. The money raised through the Salvation Army kettles program is used to fund year-round services such as meals for the hungry and holiday gifts for the needy. “We are not immune to acts of desperation, even with everything we offer our community,” said Vincent. Vincent said it was the first time in his four years working with the Salvation Army kettle program in Baltimore that he’d encountered such a theft.
“I’ve never had a kettle stolen in my time doing this,” he said.