Update: Rochester Police Release Photos of Salvation Army Kettle Theft Suspects

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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester Salvation Army today reported the theft of one of its iconic red donation kettles.

A news release says the theft was captured on security camera video that was recorded at Apache Mall Monday evening. It shows a man and woman approaching the kettle, which did not have a bellringer at the time, and defeating measures designed to secure it before walking away with the kettle bucket.

RDP Squad car outside Apache Mall After Bomb Threat Response. TJ Leverentz/TSM Rochester-Preston
TJ Leverentz/TSM Rochester-Preston
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Because there was no bellringer, it's not known if the kettle contained any donations at the time. Rochester police and Apache Mall security have both been notified and the incident is under investigation.

“We haven’t had a full-sized red kettle stolen in Rochester in years,” said Major Cornell Voeller, Corps Officer for Business at the Rochester Salvation Army, “but we are especially glad that no one was adversely affected, and we can move forward with our Christmas campaign with hopes of meeting our kettle goal by year’s end. The people we serve are in severe need, and the funds we raise from the red kettles are critical to our operating budget in order to meet those needs,” Major continued.

Salvation Army Kicks-Off Holiday Bell Ringing Season
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The theft occurred as the Salvation Army's annual Christmas fundraising campaign is nearing the final stretch. On Friday and Saturday, Mayo Clinic has pledged to match up to $100,000 in donations to the Red Kettle fund drive. The target for the bellringing effort is $350,000 toward the Salvation Army's overall goal of $1.1 million.

Online gifts are being accepted at www.rochestersa.org. The organization says open shifts are still available for bellringing and anyone interested can sign up online at registertoring.com.

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