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‘2 Grinches out there:’ Police seek suspects in bold theft of Salvation Army kettle outside grocery store

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Police are looking for two thieves who used bolt cutters to steal a Salvation Army kettle outside a grocery store in Blaine, Minnesota -- a bold theft caught on camera.

"It's great to be able to do some service for the community," said Wally Wysopal, Salvation Army bell ringer.

During a time of year that's supposed to be about giving, a pair of thieves decided to take from those less fortunate.

"I think that's just terrible, but we can't let that ruin our Christmas spirit," said Wysopal.

Police are trying to identify the people caught on camera stealing the kettle at the Cub Foods store near the Northtown Mall on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 4.  According to police, they were armed with bolt cutters and committed the crime in broad daylight in front of the busy store. They then took off in a gray or silver Chevy Trailblazer.

"Right away, the term that came to mind when it was reported was, 'we have a Grinch out there -- two Grinches out there.' That someone would do this, really the principle of it too, regardless of how much was in the kettle at the time -- why would someone do this to people? It's just disappointing," said Chief Brian Podany, Blaine Police Department.

Major Robert Doliber with the Salvation Army said the bell ringer had not yet shown up for his shift when the theft occurred, and doesn't believe there was much money in the kettle. He also said crimes like this aren't common, even though someone stole another kettle that was without a bell ringer in Oakdale, Minnesota on Friday, Nov. 30.

"I think they need to think about the people that they're stealing from, and just have a heart and put a stop to it. Turn yourself in," said Doliber.

"I hope they are able to find the people and get the money back and maybe they can do some restitution and give back and ring the bell for a few hours," said Wysopal.