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Kettle stolen from partially blind Salvation Army volunteer
Las Vegas (KVVU) -- According to Leslee Rogers, public relations officer for the southern Nevada chapter of the Salvation Army, a collection kettle was stolen from a blind volunteer on Wednesday afternoon.
The kettle worker was situated in front of the Smith's store located on North Rainbow at Cheyenne Avenue about 5 p.m.
The worker, Leroy Fuller, is blind in one eye and visually impaired in the other. He said he could make out a couple walking past him several times, something that was confirmed by video surveillance.
When Fuller heard the clip and chain rattle, he reached out to secure the kettle but someone slapped his hand and ran away with it. Fuller, who uses a walker, told his supervisor, "I'm so sorry, but I couldn't chase him."
Fuller said the thieves worked as a team, one distracting him while the other stole the money.
"They had been walking around here all day, but I didn't pay them no mind," he said.
Fuller, who's been ringing bells for the Salvation Army for 15 years, said the thieves were a man and a woman.
The theft is a tough break for a charity in the midst of a slim donation season.
"Kettle season is always Black Friday through Christmas Eve. Thanksgiving was as late as it could be this year. Instead of five weeks, we have four," said Rogers.
The Smith's store is hoping to make it up to Fuller.
"Smith's is giving a thousand dollars extra to the Salvation Army," said assistant store director Ron Coniglio.
Fuller said that while he doesn't understand what the thieves did, he holds no ill will for them.
"They took from kids and they took from people that needed the money," he said. "Do I have anger for them? No, I feel sorry for them. I hope they have good luck with whatever they took."