J'nelle AgeeDec 6, 2017, 7:22 pmDec 7, 2017, 12:33 pm

Thief steals $500 from Salvation Army kettle; community responds by replenishing funds

Donations exceed amount that was stolen

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WALLKILL — Residents and local businesses in Orange County are working together to replenish a Salvation Army kettle full of donations that was stolen over the weekend.

These red kettles are usually synonymous with the holiday season’s spirit of giving, but on Saturday someone came to the Shoprite in Wallkill and stole nearly $500 worth of donations.

"Someone had come up and picked up the entire tripod and went running off with it with our kettle attached to it," said Major Mary Moore of Salvation Army.

Officials from the Salvation Army are concerned the thief could now pose as a collector.

They say people should make sure to identify a Salvation Army kettle volunteer before donating.

"All of our workers have Salvation Army aprons and they have a photo ID with them so that no one puts money into a kettle fraudulently; that's what we're concerned about," Moore said.

On Monday, passing do-gooders and managers from the Shoprite volunteered to give even more than what was stolen.

"Shoprite has decided to replace that $500 that is missing and in addition to that, we're going to donate an additional $100 because we've been partners with the Salvation Army with the community for many years. So, we thought that was the right thing to do," Shoprite General Manager Tom Gillen said.

Salvation Army officials encourage all residents in the Hudson Valley to donate to their local kettle for the holidays.

"We certainly need all the funds we can get because what's collected at Christmas time helps our programs run throughout the entire year; it's not just our Christmas programs so we need all the help we can get," Moore said.

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