COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Police in Columbia are looking for a man who took advantage of generous shoppers outside an Old Navy store.

Authorities told KRCG-TV the man made off with an undetermined amount of cash after impersonating a Salvation Army bell ringer.

The man stood by the unattended red kettle while the real bell ringer was on break and held out his hand, asking people for money. The Salvation Army says real bell ringers always wear red apron with the group’s logo and never take donations in their hands; the money must be placed in the red kettle.

KOMU-TV reports the phony bell ringer appeared to homeless and in his late fifties. The scam was broken up when an Old Navy became suspicious and called police.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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