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Salvation Army red kettle, hundreds of dollars stolen in south Tulsa

The Salvation Army says a thief took off with a red kettle filled with money, the tripod and the sign from the Walmart at 81st and Lewis Saturday afternoon. (KTUL)

The Salvation Army says a thief took off with a red kettle filled with money, the tripod and the sign from the Walmart at 81st and Lewis Saturday afternoon.

“A kettle at a location like this will average at least $800 in a day,” said Captain Chapman, Area Commander of The Salvation Army Tulsa Metro Command. “We may also be looking at repair costs for the equipment and replacing the kettle."

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A padlock fastens the kettle to its six-and-a-half-foot tripod which holds a large sign and a "DipJar" that allows people to donate with their credit cards.

“This thief isn’t robbing The Salvation Army,” said Chapman. “He is robbing the people we serve – the most vulnerable in our community.”

All the equipment except for the kettle was recovered.

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Chapman said no information is retained in the DipJar which makes it safe for those who used it to donate and useless to those who try to steal it.

He also said the loss is even more heartbreaking because kettle donations are running 20 percent behind this year.

“I will admit, we are concerned," Chapman said. "We only have 12 days left to catch up on donations."

He said Dec. 23 is the last day kettles will be out in the Tulsa area for physical donations.

The Salvation Army kicked off its 2017 Red Kettle Campaign on Nov. 10 with a goal of raising $700,000.

“Each dollar, each dime, each nickel placed in a red kettle translates into services in our community for the homeless, hungry and downtrodden," Chapman said. "The kettle donations don’t just help at Christmas but all year long.”

Donations may also be made online or by calling 918-587-7801.

Chapman said The Salvation Army is appreciative of the partnership with Walmart which allows the organization to ring bells at all of their locations.

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