Dec 8, 2012 10:01 PM by Tony Spehar - firstname.lastname@example.org
A year that is already proving to be tough for the Salvation Army got tougher over the past week after two of the famous red donation kettles were stolen in Colorado Springs.
Ringing the bells and manning the red kettle outside of the Walmart on Woodmen Road on Saturday afternoon were Mike and Kerry Cuccero and their sons Ian and Seth.
"We just think it's good to teach the kids to do nice things for other people," explained Kerry Cuccero.
Unfortunately the Cucceros also had to teach their kids to keep a close eye on their donation kettle. Late Friday afternoon somebody stole one of the kettles and all the donations inside from the front of the very same Walmart the Cuccero's where the Cucceros were collecting.
"I was shocked," described Kerry Cuccero. "It's a sad thing that people are at that point of desperation and uncaring about other people like that."
This year two kettles have been stolen, another was taken from the Walmart on Razorback Road on November 30.
"I can't even express the disappointment," explained Major John Bennett of The Salvation Army.
Bennett said the thefts were not typical, last year no kettles were stolen in El Paso County. He estimates the Salvation Army lost as much as $300 in donations from the stolen kettles in a year when every cent is going to count.
"We're about $35,000 down from last year at this time and still a long way to our goal of $600,000," Major Bennett explained. "So these kind of things, they add the weight on us."
According to Major Bennett they were able to get the license plate from the suspect's car in Friday's theft and the descriptions of the thief in both cases are similar so the same person may have stolen both kettles.
The Colorado Springs Police Department is investigating both cases.