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Thieves Threaten Salvation Army Bell Ringer, Steal Cash and Kettle

November 29, 1989|SEBASTIAN ROTELLA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two thieves escaped with about $40 from a Salvation Army bell ringer in Lancaster after stealing the woman's collection kettle as she was leaving the street corner where she had been collecting money for the poor, authorities said.

Gwen White, 27, was on her way to the organization's headquarters, after completing her third day as a paid bell ringer, when the thieves threatened her with a club, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies said. She was not injured during the Monday robbery.

White quit immediately afterward, Salvation Army Capt. Debbie Hood said Tuesday.

Hood said at least one Christmas kettle a year is stolen from the Salvation Army in Los Angeles County.

Hood said White left her post at the First Interstate Bank on Lancaster Boulevard to walk to the organization's headquarters about four blocks away, despite a rule that workers should drive or wait to be driven back to headquarters.

She carried the kettle and wore an apron that both clearly displayed the Salvation Army logo, Hood said.

Two men approached and asked her how much money she was carrying, Deputy Bob Welch said. White ignored them, he said, until one man threatened her with a club. She relinquished the kettle and the men ran off with it, Welch said.

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