Madison bell ringer takes off with donation kettle, arrested for theft

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – A Salvation Army bell ringer left his post and took off with the donation kettle at Woodman's Market Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Madison Police Department, police made contact with the man at the West Transfer Point and officers took the kettle back.

The suspect told police he was taking the kettle back to the Salvation Army, but an employee for the charitable organization said protocol would be to leave the kettle at the ringer's location, which was Woodman's.

The employee also told police the bell ringer should not have been able to sign out a kettle since he was fired for failure to show up on time. Surveillance showed the suspect leaving with the kettle and pocketing some of the money while he was ringing the bell.

Kemple Garrett, age 57 of Madison, was arrested for theft.