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Man steals Salvation Army kettle

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Escondido police asked for the public to help Tuesday track down a man who stole a Salvation Army kettle filled with hundreds of dollars in donations.

It was supposed to be a night of giving at Escondido’s Center for the Arts, but that quickly took a turn for the worse over the weekend, when a man stole a Salvation Army kettle filled with 5 hours worth of donations.

“The volunteer, who’s a senior citizen, stepped away from the kettle to assist a man that asked for help.  He heard chains moving and by the time he looked back a man was running away with the kettle and about $300 inside,” said Major David Ebel with The Salvation Army in Escondido.

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 9.02.27 PMThe money was to be used to help feed and buy Christmas gifts for 2,500 needy children and their families across North County this holiday season.

This year has marked the highest demand for help in the history of the Salvation Army in Escondido and other North County communities, according to officials with the non-profit.

“We have less coming in, more need. We’re here hoping to catch up and someone steals about $300 and the kettle, it’s about $85 to replace,” said Major David.

The thief, who witnesses believe didn’t act alone, is described as a tall man wearing black clothing and was last seen running south from the Arts Center.

Anyone with information that can help authorities track down the suspect has been asked to call Escondido Police Department.

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