Northeast Ohio man admits stealing Salvation Army donation kettle

PAINESVILLE, Ohio - A northeast Ohio man has pleaded guilty to stealing a Salvation Army donation kettle days before Christmas.

The News-Herald in Willoughby reports 55-year-old Jeffrey L. Gregg pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft Wednesday in Painesville. He'll be sentenced Jan. 16.

Lake County sheriff's Chief Deputy Frank Leonbruno says the red kettle had an estimated $300 to $500, but no one knows for sure.

Deputies said Gregg -- who has no permanent address -- stole the kettle in front of a Giant Eagle grocery store Dec. 21 by convincing real Salvation Army volunteers that he was taking over the bell-ringing shift. Soon after, he put the kettle in a car and left.

Detectives used surveillance video to catch up with Gregg, who was sleeping in his car.

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