Police: Man stole Salvation Army bell, kettle

OAKWOOD, GA (AP) - Police have arrested a man they say may use the familiar Salvation Army bell ringer's accessories to scam people out of money.

WSB-TV reports that police arrested 41-year-old Ernest Mize early Tuesday morning.

Authorities say Mize walked away from a Walmart in Hall County Friday with the charity's bell, apron and red kettle. He also took an estimated $200 to $400 in donations.

Salvation Army Lt. Matt Cunningham says Mize, who also uses the last name Jackson, had been hired as a bell ringer. Cunningham says Mize packed up his post early and left with the kettle and cash.

Mize didn't have the kettle with him when he was arrested.

Cunningham says Mize apparently lied on his job application about former felonies. Cunningham says Mize wouldn't had been hired if the Salvation Army had know about the prior convictions.

Police had worried Mize would try to use the bell and kettle to solicit more donations he could steal.

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