Bell ringers ring on after stand off with attempted robber
(KATV) Conway - Bell ringer one....armed suspect zero. This week two Salvation Army bell ringers were approachedand asked to hand over their red kettles. In both cases, the suspect walkedaway empty handed. The incidents happened Tuesday evening off Skyline Drive. Firstat the Walmart and then at JcPenney. The bell ringers were so calm they didn'teven call Conway police.
It all worked out inthis case but police warn that whether it's a red kettle, your purse or carkeys, if someone approaches you; especially if they have a gun you need tocomply and report it.
Volunteers with theSalvation Army are back. They're raising money to support local services likefood, child Christmas gifts, shelters, job training and people recovering fromdisasters.
Johnnie Hightowersays, "Thank you very much you have a very Christmas." This is Hightower'sfirst year as a bell ringer. He is volunteering 40 hours a week and has beenassigned to the location where an attempted robbery happened just two days ago.
He says, "I don't eventhink about that, I just think about doing positive. There are too many goodpeople out here to worry about the bad. I just think about the smiles onpeoples face when they come and give."
The would-be robberreportedly started at the Walmart on Skyline but the bell ringer stood hisground. The suspect and his passengers then drove down the road to JcPenneywhere he walked up to the ringer with a dollar, and then held up a 9 millimetergun and asked for the kettle.
Latresha Woodruffwith the Conway Police Department explains, "At that point the victim toldhim, 'You can do whatever you want, I'm not going to give you the kettle' andthey stared each other down for just a little bit and the car pulled off."
The volunteerscontinued to ring their bells and didn't contact police. "If he had reported it immediately thereis a possibility we could have started looking for the person and potentiallystop them before they do this again, and the next time who knows," Woodruffsays.
Not only did thesuspect get away without the kettle, the dollar the suspect handed the bellringer made it into the kettle for charity.
Conway police are lookingfor a red Camaro. It possibly has a Missouri license plate. The male suspecthad two female passengers and a male passenger. All four are reportedly black andin their 20's.