Salvation Army Bell Ringer Pocketed Donations, Police Say

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hc-salvation-army-1207-20131206-001VERNON — A 28-year-old bell ringer for the Salvation Army was arrested Thursday after he admitted to police that he had been pocketing donations.

Brandon Martin, of no certain address, initially drew the attention of managers at the Stop & Shop at 50 Windsorville Road when he allegedly stole a sandwich, bag of chips and drink from the store.

Martin was eating outside the store when a manager approached him. The manager took the Salvation Army bucket, locked it in the store’s cash room and called the Salvation Army, according to a release from Lt. William Meier of the Vernon police.

But while the manager was on the phone, Martin convinced another store employee to retrieve the bucket, the release states. Unaware that the store manager had confiscated the bucket, the employee gave it back to Martin, who was still in his Salvation Army uniform.

Martin fled, but police found him on Berger Road, not far away from the Stop & Shop. He was carrying the locked collection bucket and also had a number of individually folded $1 bills, according to the release.

Martin admitted that he had been pocketing money that people had handed him for the Salvation Army bucket, the release states.

He was charged with sixth-degree larceny.

The money and bucket was returned to the Salvation Army.

By Stephen Busemeyer, Hartford Courant

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