msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 11/30/2009 12:19:41 PM ET 2009-11-30T17:19:41

Police on Monday arrested a man suspected of swiping a Salvation Army kettle full of donated money and pushing one of the Christian charity's bell ringers to the ground when she tried to take it back.

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Shawn P. Krieger, 44, of Toledo, was was sought in the robbery Sunday evening in Maumee, in northwestern Ohio, of a kettle filled with cash donations.

According to The Blade newspaper, police say the man grabbed the kettle outside a store. The bell ringer grasped at the chain suspending the kettle and tried to take it back. But police said she was pushed down by the man, who told her: "I can't stand you and your bell-ringing. I hate Christmas."

Police said the man then drove off in a truck with the kettle.

The Salvation Army's bell ringers and their red kettles, in which passersby drop money, are a common sight around the holidays in the U.S.

The truck, which was reported to have been stolen, and the empty kettle were recovered in separate locations.

Maumee Police Sgt. David Tullis said it's unknown how much money was in the kettle, although the bell ringer believed there was a large sum.

"This is pretty unusual," he said. "At this time of year, we have merchandise theft all the time. It's just very common where people go in stores and rip off the store, but you very rarely see where someone rips off charitable donations like this.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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