Columbus bell ringer accused of stealing paramedic's purse; Salv - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus bell ringer accused of stealing paramedic's purse; Salvation Army responds

(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM) (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
Fabian Britt. (Source: Muscogee County Jail) Fabian Britt. (Source: Muscogee County Jail)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM) (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
Lori Rambo. (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM) Lori Rambo. (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM) (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The holiday season provides more opportunities for scams and attracts unlikely criminals.

In Columbus, a paramedic says she was caught off guard after a bell ringer stole her purse.

Local paramedic Lori Rambo responded to a call inside the Piggly Wiggly on Woodruff Farm Road in Columbus Saturday, only to return to none of her belongings in her ambulance.

"While I was inside Piggly Wiggly probably five minutes, assessing a guy, the Salvation Army Bellringer went into the ambulance and took my bag,” said Rambo.

Inside her bag was her wallet, glasses, medication, and all forms of identification.

Surveillance video did not capture the incident, but through questioning and witnesses lead to the arrest of 35-year-old Fabian Britt.

The bell ringer was arrested and charged with theft by taking and entering an auto.

Local salvation army reps responding to the incident say one “bad person” does not define their organization and their good work speaks for itself.

"I think people know who the salvation army is, and what we stand for. As for somebody out there not in line with our mission, we definitely want to know about that and correct any issues along that way. We stand by our mission at the Salvation Army: Meeting Human Needs in the Community," said Corps Officer for Salvation Army, Captain Josh Hinson.

The Red Kettle Campaign is the Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The money collected stays right in the Valley to help families in need.

Rambo's items were returned, but she says it is an eye-opener.

"As a paramedic, we respond when people are in need. We don't consider ourselves ending up as victims while we're on duty, It's a wake-up call,” said Rambo.

The suspect, Fabian Britt was in Recorders Court Tuesday afternoon.  He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Britt was given a bond of $3,500.

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