Salvation Army Bell Ringer
Aiken police and the Salvation Army are asking residents of Aiken to be aware of a shyster posing as a bell ringer collecting money for the needy but keeping it for himself.
A man was said to be standing outside of the Food Lion on Richland this week swinging a bell around collecting cash in a jar, but has no ties to the Salvation Army. He apparently stole the iconic red apron and bell and went to work for himself.
An employee of SA witnessed the man and asked him why he was collecting the money in a jar in lieu of the usual red kettle. He said someone stole it while he went to use the bathroom. A boldfaced lie, because SA collects the buckets at the end of every shift and none were reported missing. She then reported the man to police and to the organization.
Unfortunately, the man got away with some money and became another example of holiday thievery. If you plan to donate this holiday season, make sure the source is reputable and the cause is just. Anyone with information about the fake Salvation Army suspect is asked to call Public Safety at 642-7620.