CORONA (CBSLA) — Salvation Army volunteers are on alert after the purse-snatching of one of their bell ringers outside a Vons in Corona.
CBS2’s Tina Patel spoke to bell ringers who said they are now being more cautious about their personal belongings.
It’s a story that is Only On 2.
Monica Bailey has been a volunteer for the past four holiday seasons. She said she’s now doing things a little differently. She’s not only guarding the kettle, she’s also keeping a keen eye on her property.
“After I found out it was this store, I was careful and I put [my purse] on my back. and I’ve been keeping my eyes open,” Bailey said.
Two nights ago, a bell ringer had her purse stolen outside the Vons. The purse was at her feet, just under the kettle.
The bell ringer lost a lot.
“She’s lost a lot because of it, all her identity was in there, her kid’s identity stuff, her ID, her Social Security [card],” said Pastor Manuel Maciel of the Salvation Army.
Corona Police released security video of a dark-colored sedan — possibly a Nissan Sentra — they said was involved in the robbery.
When the car first pulls up, the passenger door opens but no one gets out. The car keeps going. A few minutes later, the car returns and stops. This time, a man gets out, leans over and quickly grabs something off the ground.
The bell ringers tries to run after the thief as he gets back into the car and leaves.
“She’s okay, that’s the good thing. But it’s sad that she lost everything, now she has to get everything back and it’s just not easy,” said Maciel.
Shoppers Patel spoke to Thursday night said they can’t believe someone would steal from a bell ringer.
“It’s donations for people in need, and people are taking ,,, what this is, it’s sad.” said Jeffrey Cabanban.
Bailey said that the thieves could have just turned to the Salvation Army is they were in need. That’s why she says she is praying for them.
“Well it doesn’t do any good to get angry, right? So all we can do is pray for them,” she said.
The Salvation Army said they aren’t sure if the volunteer who was robbed will return to bell ringing — they say she is pretty shaken up by the whole ordeal.
The police don’t have a good description of the two men in the car. They’re asking for any witnesses to come forward,