Bell ringer takes off with red kettle, pockets cash

MADISON (WKOW) — A Salvation Army bell ringer at Woodman’s Market on Gammon Road took off with the donation kettle Tuesday afternoon, according to police.

Kemple Garrett, Sr., 57, Madison was arrested on a theft charge.

Madison police found the man at the West Transfer Point and officers took the kettle back, according to a Madison Police incident report.

Garrett claimed he was taking it to the Salvation Army, but an employee for the charitable organization said protocol would be for the kettle to stay at the ringer’s location, which in this case would be Woodman’s.

In addition, the Salvation Army employee said the bell ringer should not have been able to sign out the kettle as he had just been fired for failure to show up on time.

Surveillance video showed the suspect not only leaving with the kettle, but pocketing some of the money earmarked for it while he was ringing the bell.

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