Man charges with theft of Salvation Army donations

Policed in Michigan have reported that a 29-year-old man was taken into custody on Dec. 12 in connection with the theft of Salvation Army donations in Oakland County. The Redford Township resident is also facing drug possession charges. After being processed, the man appeared before a Farmington Hills magistrate on Dec.13 and entered a pleas of not guilty to all charges. He was ordered to be held and a cash or surety bond of $5,500 was set to secure his bail. He was then scheduled to return to court on Dec. 16.

According to Farmington Hills police, the man took a red donations kettle and the stand it was hanging on from outside a pharmacy at about 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 11. Witnesses are said to have told officers that the Salvation Army bell ringer who had been tending to the kettle had stepped away from the stand and gone into the store when the crime occurred. Police subsequently discovered the stand behind a nearby business, but there was no sign of the kettle or the donations it had contained.

Police say that a tip from a witness who had read about the theft on social media led them to the man. While the money was not recovered, the Salvation Army will still be able to provide holiday cheer to the needy thanks to $248 that was raised by the Farmington Hills Police Department and $300 that was received from an anonymous donor.

While crimes such as shoplifting and theft may not seem serious to some, they can still have severe consequences. Those convicted on theft charges could have difficulty passing the background checks that are routinely performed today before a job or an apartment lease is offered. Criminal defense attorneys may encourage prosecutors with onerous caseloads to consider reducing or dismissing theft charges by pointing out mitigating factors such as the sincere remorse and previous good conduct of their clients.

Source: The Detroit News, Man arrested in theft of Salvation Army kettle, Mark Martindale, Dec. 13, 2015