Police are investigating the theft of a Salvation Army kettle that was taken Saturday afternoon outside an Addison grocery store.
The kettle, stand and sign, which belong to the Salvation Army Oakbrook Terrace Corps, is valued at approximately $750; it also may have contained a couple hundred dollars, said Sue Linden of the Oakbrook Terrace Corps.
Two anonymous witnesses spotted four boys grab the kettle and stand at about 1:30 Saturday afternoon and take off on foot, Addison Police Detective Sgt. Brian Goss.
"The stands are very, very heavy," Linden said.
Two bell ringers were working outside of Jewel that day, but both went on their lunch break at the same time, leaving the kettle's unattended, she said. This is the first theft of a kettle in the area this year, but there have been attempts in the past.
"Last year, somebody tried to steal one at the Jewel in Lombard," Linden said. "The bell ringer caught him and started yelling. They almost had it in their truck."
On average bell ringers collect about $215 each day, but some can bring in up to $700 on a good day, she said.
"We've been hit kind of hard this year and this was not very exciting to hear, but we will have to work with it, unfortunately," Linden said.
Linden fears that the thief or thieves might set up their own location and pocket and donations received.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Addison Police Department at (630) 543-3080.