Kamloops RCMP are turning to the public for assistance following two Salvation Army Kettle robberies earlier this week.
On Tuesday, Dec. 7 and Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, officers responded to two reports involving stolen donations, the first on the 450-block of Lansdowne Street and the second on the 900-block of Columbia Street West. The incidents are under investigation, with police urging witnesses to come forward.
“These robberies not only hurt the families who are relying on the Salvation Army for support over the holidays, but are also traumatic for the volunteers out there collecting,” said Supt. Syd Lecky.
The first robbery occurred on Dec. 7 around 4:40 p.m. in the Lansdowne Street Plaza. As part of the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign, a man was collecting donations outside of a commercial location when he observed a man loitering around the area.
Shortly after, the man was joined by two women. Together they approached the volunteer, threatened to bear spray him, and attempted to remove the kettle with bolt cutters. When that failed, they took the whole tripod and walked westbound.
The suspects are described as:
- Male, Indigenous, 5’7, wearing a big green jacket and a bandana face mask
- Female, Indigenous, 5 to 5’3, chubby face, shoulder length hair, dark clothing
- Female, Indigenous, 5 to 5’3, dark bulky clothing
Police noted heavy foot and vehicle traffic in the area at the time of the robbery and are hopeful someone saw something that may help identify a suspect.
On Dec. 8, 2021 around 7 p.m., police received a report of a theft in progress inside a store on the 900-block of Columbia Street West. While police were en route, the suspect fled the store, and in the process, grabbed the Salvation Army donation container from a volunteer who was walking it to his vehicle.
A struggle followed and the victim fell to the ground, as the culprit made off with the collections. No injuries were reported. The suspect was last seen running west toward Summit Drive.
The Columbia Street West suspect is described as:
- Male, Caucasian, 5’10, wearing a puffy jacket, black ball cap, black scarf around the neck and nose, blue jeans with rips, and a grey shoulder bag
Investigations are ongoing. Anyone who witnessed, has surveillance or dash cam footage, or information which may help police identify a suspect, is asked to contact the Kamloops RCMP and reference file 2021-42645 for the Lansdowne robbery, 2021-42793 for the Columbia Street West.