Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Parole/Probation Stories the bell ringer

Every season they appear, in every nook and cranny. Some, show their artistic side, bringing guitars or other things to pass the time. Some are nice, others NOT.
However, we can judge the "Season" when the BELL RINGERS appear. These Bell ringers are not volunteers as some think. They are hired by the local Salvation Army to be bell ringers. Granted, they don't have a stringent application process, but they do try to keep the genuine THUGS off the kettles.
While working as Parole/Probation Agent in "THE CITY", my partner and I went to do some rounds, check on our offenders and kill some time at local bookmark/coffee shop.
One of his guys was THRILLED to have gotten a job at the local Home Depot as a Bell ringer. This guy...was a lifelong career criminal, petty thief, and dumb and not very good at it.
We decided to check on him as my partners wife used to work at the store as Security. We cruise by the front of the store.....No bell ringer.
We cruise Through the store....NO bell ringer.
We SEE the skeleton bell holder for the bucket of donations, but NO BUCKET....We drive around the SIDE of the building, and there the bell ringer is. His focus is (as it should be) on the BUCKET. HOWEVER, He had a stick or knife and was sliding the money OUT of the bucket and into his hand then into his pants pocket.
WE COULDN'T BELIEVE it!! IT was WILD. We were watching for quite a while, and he never noticed us, so intent on his task he was. Finally, we went up, BUSTED. They guy showed some SURRPRISE!! As I recall...we had him empty his pockets back into the bucket , and call and quit. It easily could have been a new charge and violation of his Court Orders...but for whatever reason...him making us laugh SO hard, or showing mercy...he didn't get busted that day.
Merry Christmas, and for me and mine, we don't do the BUCKET.


MP said...

OH NO...I often wondered about some of the shaddy characters ringing the bells..now you proved my suspitions..


You, know we don't do the bucket either. We give in other ways, to other organizations. You just never know. You were kind to let him off. It was defninitely worth the laugh, I'm sure.

Tracy said...

I know it's supposed to be for a good cause, BUT.........those bell ringers are just plain annoying! I love the one's that stand INSIDE the doors so as not to get too cold! We do Toys for Tots through Tony's work. That's our holiday charity work!