Thieves Steal from Salvation Army Bell Ringer - 8 News NOW

Thieves Steal from Salvation Army Bell Ringer

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LAS VEGAS -- A heartbreaking Las Vegas story about criminals putting a damper on one man's effort to make a difference this holiday season. The gentleman is a Salvation Army bell ringer as police are trying to track down a couple, who stole a kettle full of cash right under the man's watch.

For the past 15 holiday seasons, Leroy Fuller has rang his bell hoping folks will share some generosity.

"I would say if they needed help they should have come to the Salvation Army or something because you just don't take from people if you need help," Fuller said.

Fuller said while he worked outside the Smith's Store on Wednesday, two thieves stole his red kettle and he tried to stop them but they got away.

Leslee Rogers with the Salvation Army said there was probably $250 or more in the kettle that's an entire's day collection for Fuller.

"When he heard the little click lock in the kettle chain he reached out and he felt somebody's hand but they slapped, they knock his hand away and grabbed the kettle and took off," Rogers said.

The crime was captured on store surveillance cameras. In fact the exterior of the store is crawling with video cameras as smith's is helping with the robbery investigation, but police haven't released the video just yet.

The robbery seems to be popular on an already rough collection season. Donations are down close to 30 percent compared to last year.

Fuller said he won't let this crime ruin his Christmas cheer as he's going to keep ringing his bell to help others who need the help.

"I feel bad, but they're going to feel badder," Fuller said.

The Salvation Army said they've also had a tough collection season because thanksgiving fell so late in November.

The organization only collects from black Friday to Christmas Eve losing about a week in donations.

Smith's is store kicking in an extra thousand dollars to the Salvation Army for the kettle theft.

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