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Published: Monday, 11/30/2009

Toledo man arrested in Salvation Army kettle theft

BLADE STAFF

A Toledo man was arrested Sunday night in the robbery of a Salvation Army volunteer.

The Maumee police department said an arrest warrant had been issued on Sunday for Shawn P. Krieger, 44, of Geneva Street in Toledo, and that he was arrested later that night and booked at the Wood County jail.

The arrest stemmed from the robbery Saturday evening of a Salvation Army kettle at The Andersons store on Illinois Avenue in Maumee that was filled with cash donations.

Article appeared in earlier versions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

Robber snatches Salvation Army kettle, cash from Andersons store in Maumee

A robber who claimed to "hate Christmas" made off with a red kettle full of donations for the Salvation Army on Saturday night outside The Andersons store on Illinois Avenue in Maumee, according to Maumee police.

The unidentified man approached the volunteer bell ringer about 6:25 p.m. He grabbed the kettle and tripod from which it was hanging. The bell ringer grabbed the chain, and the two fought for the kettle, according to Maumee police reports.

Maumee Police Sgt. David Tullis said the robber pushed the volunteer, and pulled the kettle away from her. He put the kettle and tripod in the back of a pickup truck after telling her, "I can't stand you and your bell-ringing. I hate Christmas."

Several hours later, Toledo police recovered what was believed to have been the same pickup truck. It was found near Dorr Street and Reynolds Road.

Sergeant Tullis said the truck was reported stolen in Maumee Friday night.

Yesterday, the empty kettle and tripod were found in separate locations in South Toledo.

The robber was described as a white male in his 40s, between 5 feet, 2 inches and 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing 200 to 240 pounds. He has graying brown hair, a scruffy beard, and moustache. He was wearing dirty blue jeans, a grey hooded sweatshirt, a green shirt, and green hat.

Sergeant Tullis said it's unknown how much money was in the kettle, although the bell ringer believed there was a large sum.

"This is pretty unusual," he said. "At this time of year, we have merchandise theft all the time. It's just very common where people go in stores and rip off the store, but you very rarely see where someone rips off charitable donations like this.

"This is a pretty big item in a crowded area," Sergeant Tullis added. "I would say the guy was either desperate or mentally ill or intoxicated."

Salvation Army of Northwest Ohio officials could not be reached for comment yesterday. The organization is attempting to raise $470,000 this year through its annual Red Kettle Drive, which provides assistance to needy individuals and families in the area.



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