Salvation Army Bell Ringing Thief
They make me uncomfortable. Sure, fine… judge me. But I dread the moment I see the bell ringer standing at that bucket outside of every grocery store in a fifty mile radius from my house. Brrrring… Brrriiiinnnnngggg… They must see me coming a mile away because I swear they ring with more aggression as I get closer. I can’t make eye contact. I look awkwardly to the side of them and mumble a “Merry Christmas” while I sneak into the door and plan an escape route out the opposite side on the way out. I know they’re there to do good and to raise money for good causes… and I applaud them for that effort- but it’s just, well, uncomfortable. For every time I’ve snuck out the side door or hid behind a group to avoid putting my 34 cents in the red bucket, I’ve also felt guilted into adding a dollar bill or two. I’m not completely heartless. That is why I am outraged that a Salvation Bell Ringer in Connecticut has been arrested for (GASP!) stealing from the bucket.
28-year-old Brandon Martin was arrested for stealing the money from the red bucket. He is a bell ringer. The Vernon Stop and Shop he was working knew something was up when they caught him stealing potato chips and a sandwich from inside the store. The store manager took the bucket while he went to call the police. He put the bucket in a locked office. Martin then asked an unknowing employee to retrieve the bucket. That employee, not knowing that police were being called, got him the bucket. He took off and fled on foot.
When police finally caught up to him, he had many folded up single dollar bills on him. Alas, they had either found the right guy, or an odd looking, male pole dancer. Allegedly, he admitted to stealing the money from the bucket regularly.
Now, if only he would admit to ringing that damn bell louder when he would see me approaching… They can smell a sucker a mile away. It’s in their job description.