Call them holiday scrooges. The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign officially kicked off Friday, but at least two kettles already have been stolen. One incident occurred at a Kroger store in Woodhaven. The other kettle was taken from Southland Mall in Taylor.

Police reports have been filed.

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“It is a shame that someone so desperate would take kettles from The Salvation Army that contain funds to help a great number of people,” Salvation Army Major John Turner, general secretary for The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit, told WWJ Saturday.

Turner said volunteers and staff members are being encouraged to keep an eye on the kettles.

“We’re in desperate times and that’s the kind of people the Salvation Army is here to help,” Turner added. “We feel sorry for a person who stoops that low, but that’s the kind of person we’re here to help.”

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“On one hand we can be angry about it, on the other hand we just know there are desperate people out there and we feel sorry for them.”

The Salvation Army has 350 kettles collecting donations across the region.

The goal of the campaign is to raise 7.8 million dollars by the end of December. The money is used to sustain vital social services such as food and shelter.

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