Woman Arrested in Salvation Army Red Kettle Theft

Many of us remember the Salvation Army red kettle theft that happened last week in Gulfport. News 25 has a shocking new update. It turns out the victim of the theft was not actually a victim after all. Last week, a Salvation Army kettle was stolen from a bell ringer at a local Winn Dixie. Gulport Police say the crime was an inside job.

Michelle Pope, 23, who was manning the kettle, knew the man seen in the surveillance video running off with the kettle. Major Gary Sturdivant, Area Commander of the Salvation Army, says, “It’s awful because it’s like a rare occurrence. I just hope that folks don’t think that every bell ringer we have out here is that kind of individual. We tell them every morning, if you need anything, come to me privately and the Salvation Army will be able to hopefully help you with any issues you may have."

Not all Salvation Army bell ringers are volunteers. This particular individual was being paid to ring the bell, and still took money from the kettle. Sturdivant also says, "We may have funds or resources to help her with even more than that, so it’s just sad. We pray for that individual because evidently she’s messed up, desperate, or something, so we’ll just continue to pray that she seeks help somewhere."

The Salvation Army says this was Pope’s first year working with the Salvation Army and she is now on a national list preventing her from ever working for the charity again.

Categories: Local News, News

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