Police: Salvation Army Bell Ringer Steals His Own Collection Bucket

He was in the can overnight after the bucket incident, police said.

Photo Credit: Patch
Photo Credit: Patch
A Salvation Army bell ringer allegedly stole lunch at the Rockville Stop & Shop on Thursday and then took the red collection bucket he was stationed at for dessert, Vernon police said. 

At 11:47 a.m. on Thursday, police were called to Stop & Shop at 50 Windsorville Rd. One of the store managers contacted police after an incident involving a man identified as Brandon Martin. 

The 28-year-old Martin has no certain address, police said.
Martin allegedly took the Salvation Army collection bucket from the front of the store after stealing a sandwich, a bag of chips, and drink, police said. 

Martin was out front eating the stolen food and was apprehended by the manager, police said. The value of the food was $9.34, according to a Vernon police news release.

At the time he was confronted by the manager, Martin was in possession of the Salvation Army collection bucket, police said. 

The manager confiscated the bucket from Martin and locked it in the store’s cash room for safekeeping, police said. The manager then contacted Salvation Army management to request that a representative pick it up, police said.

While the manager was on the phone with the Salvation Army, Martin found another store employee and convinced the employee to "return" his collection bucket, according to a news release. The employee was unaware of what had taken place and gave the bucket to Martin, since Martin was wearing a Salvation Army uniform, police said. 

Martin then fled the store, police said. 

Police were called and officers located Martin on Berger Road, a short distance from the store, according to a news release. 

He was then arrested, police said.

Martin was in possession of the locked collection bucket, a Salvation Army uniform and a bell, police said. 

Martin was also found to be in possession of money that was not in the bucket, police said. The cash consisted of one, $5 bill and 15, $1 bills that were folded up individually, police said. It appeared to the officers that Martin was attempting to steal money from the collection bucket, according to a news release. 

When confronted by police, Martin admitted to attempting to steal the money, according to a news release. 

The cash was donation money that customers had handed Martin and was not placed directly into the locked bucket, police said. Instead of putting the money into the collection bucket, Martin was allegedly putting it into his own pocket, police said.

Martin was charged with sixth-degree Larceny and has a Tuesday date at Rockville Superior Court, police said. 

He was held overnight in lieu of a $500 surety bond, police said. 


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