Salvation Army Red Kettle stolen outside Aviation Mall

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Warren County Sheriff’s Office is looking for the Grinch who stole from Salvation Army.

The thief stole a Red Kettle while the bell ringer was taking a break from the cold.

That thief somehow ripped off this chain, making off with the entire Kettle but the volunteer isn’t going to let one bad egg get her spirits down.

It’s Diane wood’s first year volunteering with Salvation Army, collecting donations for eight hours a day, no matter the weather.

On Tuesday, Diane took a 15-minute break from the cold with the Red Kettle locked and chained up.  She didn’t expect what happened next.

“I came back out and the bucket was gone.”

The Kettle was later discovered pried open.

Major David Dean says it’s the first time in 27 years one of his Kettles was taken. He estimates the thief made off with $150.

“That would do six families for Christmas because a basket costs $25.”

The season has been hard enough as is Salvation Armies across the Capital Region are down donations and volunteers.

Major Dean is hoping the things will turn around in their last two weeks of collecting.

“The local people need our help too. This is Christmas time we’ve got families with kids people who have lost jobs, medical emergencies that have come up and people who are just struggling to make ends meet.”

That’s why Diane is right back at her post. She’s bundled up in the cold and undeterred by whoever stole her very first Red Kettle.

“Salvation Army helped me with my son when he was little. So I figured this was one way of paying them back, to come and try to help them. Like I told the major, I’m not going to let the thief stop me from doing this.”

Major Dean says they’ve reinforced the chains and locks on Red Kettles all over the area to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

There are only two weeks left of the Red Kettle campaign.

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