Red kettle belonging to Salvation Army stolen outside Las Cruces Walmart

Salvation Army kettle stolen outside...

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - The Salvation Army Las Cruces is asking for help identifying the suspects who stole a red kettle with money outside a Las Cruces Walmart.

It happened over the weekend at the Walmart located at 571 Walton Blvd.

"The money in this red kettle goes towards keeping Las Cruces residence from being evicted or having their utilities turned off or going hungry. In essence, they stole from the community," said Michael Evans, with the Salvation Army.

Evans told ABC-7 a man walked up to the red kettle as if he was going to donate money, but instead grabbed the kettle, ran away and entered a vehicle that immediately drove away from the scene.

The suspect vehicle was described as a gold-colored Dodge Stratus with peeling paint. The suspect was described as an Hispanic male in his late 20s or early 30s. 

Evans said the Salvation Army volunteer had been working all day and was greeting people when the kettle was stolen. Evans did not know how much money was in the stolen kettle. 

"It shook her up. She is devastated. We are praying for these young gentlemen," Evans said. 

"It really takes some real low-life, you know. If they're in good enough shape to come out here and steal a pot of money and run, they ought to be looking for a job," said Walmart shopper Tom Deason. 

The Salvation Army of Las Cruces told ABC-7 it is now locking its kettles down. If you have any information on those responsible, call Las Cruces Police at (575) 526-0795.

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