Salvation Army kettle stolen at knifepoint

A Salvation Army bell ringer collects donations outside New York's Grand Central Station on July 13, 2009 in New York City. Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

NORTH CANTON, Ohio - Police say an Ohio Salvation Army bell-ringer outside a Kmart store was robbed of his red kettle by four men with a knife.

Detective Stan Strausser, who is investigating the case, told CBSNews.com that the suspects, all wearing dark clothing with hoods covering their faces, approached the bell ringer on Saturday evening. After threatening the bell ringer at knife point, the four suspects fled on foot with the donations. Strausser added at this time authorities believe the main motivation behind the crime was robbery.

The Detective said that he didn't recall any similar crimes happening to bell ringers in North Canton. But, Major Marcus Jugenheimer with the Salvation Army told CBS affiliate WOIO in Cleveland, Ohio that just the night before another Salvation Army kettle worker was verbally threatened.

North Canton police say they don't know how much donated money was in the kettle when it was taken Saturday evening, but Jugenheimer estimated it was about $300 to $350. The thieves didn't just take the money; they took the whole pot.

Police are urging the public to contact them if they have any information.

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