Police say a boy stole a Salvation Army kettle from Todd Cooper (pictured) while he was manning his post at an Atlanta mall.
Photo: WSBTV.com
Photo: WSBTV.com

Boy steals Salvation Army kettle from man at mall, police say

A young boy grabbed the kettle being watched by Todd Copper, who has been collecting money for the Salvation Army for 21 years despite having cerebral palsy and manning his post from a wheelchair.

“I sit out here like nine hours, 10 hours a day,” he said. “I’m helping a lot of people who cannot do it on their own.”

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Tom Copper, his father, said his son has never let his physical limitations hold him back.

“Even though he’s in a wheelchair, he believes that he can do things that other people can't,” he said of his son.

Todd Copper said he never had a problem at his post at Perimeter Mall until Monday afternoon.

“An approximately 10 - 12 year old male approached him, snatched his collection bucket, and took off running,” Sgt. Robert Parsons with the Dunwoody Police Department told WSB

Police hope surveillance video will help them catch the thief.

“He was really distraught,” Tom Copper said.

The father said his son continued to take donations after the theft.

“He said, ‘No, I want to stay here.’ And even though he didn't have a bucket, people were putting money on his lap," Tom Cooper said.

Police said they are hopeful mall and MARTA surveillance cameras may help catch the suspect.

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