Salvation Army kettles stolen on Mag Mile

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Salvation Army is asking for help as they try to solve the theft of two of their red kettles.

The kettles were stolen Tuesday, Dec. 12, and Friday, Dec. 15, from in front of the Neiman Marcus on North Michigan Avenue while the bell ringer was taking a bathroom break.

"During the season they help me and my grandkids, that's why I'm out here working. They have helped me a lot," said bell ringer Antionette Levi.

Levi was the bell ringer on duty Friday. She stepped away from her seasonal spot outside Neiman Marcus for a quick break.

"I came back, the whole pole and bucket is gone," she said.

Surveillance video from the upscale department store shows a man lingering, anxiously looking around to see who's watching, before blatantly walking off with the entire stand - pole, kettle, and cash all gone.

"I don't know how, with people up and down here every day, who would have the heart, who would be that bold to take something?" Levi wondered.

"It wouldn't be unreasonable to think it could be $1,000 or more from the two kettles that were missing," said Scott Justvig, Salvation Army.

The money in the red pot goes a long way as well.

"A family of six to eight people, for Christmas all they need for a whole box of food is less than $50, so we could have fed close to 20 families with that money," Justvig said.

With what's left of her holiday spirit, Levi is now guarding her kettle carefully and hopes someone will make up for the person who stole from the poor.
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