Salvation Army bell ringer charged for pocketing donations

Police say Joe Horton stole more than $1,000 from a Salvation Army Red Kettle.
By Evan Bleier  |  Dec. 6, 2013 at 1:03 PM
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Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Prosecutors have charged a Chicago man with one felony count of identity theft and one misdemeanor count of theft for allegedly stealing more than $1,000 from a Salvation Army Red Kettle while working as a bell ringer.

The state’s attorney’s office said that, in addition to nabbing the donation money, Joe Horton, 52, also tried to use a credit card from a purse that a woman had dropped outside a Dominick’s store.

On Nov. 30, the woman notified store employees that she had lost her wallet and then reported it missing to the police the following day. She was alerted on Dec. 2 that someone had attempted to use her credit card and the police were able to trace it back to Horton.

On Thursday, Judge Elizabeth Sexton ordered Horton held on a $40,000 bond and set his next court date for Dec. 30.

Horton is maintaining his innocence.

“The allegations against Mr. Horton are completely outrageous,” said DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin. “The very idea that someone would steal donations meant for the less fortunate is sickening, particularly given the fact that we are in the heart of the holiday season.”

[CBS Chicago]

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