Bell ringers ring on after stand off with attempted robber - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Bell ringers ring on after stand off with attempted robber

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(KATV) Conway - Bell ringer one.... armed suspect zero. This week two Salvation Army bell ringers were approached and asked to hand over their red kettles. In both cases, the suspect walked away empty handed. The incidents happened Tuesday evening off Skyline Drive. First at the Walmart and then at JcPenney. The bell ringers were so calm they didn't even call Conway police.

It all worked out in this case but police warn that whether it's a red kettle, your purse or car keys, if someone approaches you; especially if they have a gun you need to comply and report it.

Volunteers with the Salvation Army are back. They're raising money to support local services like food, child Christmas gifts, shelters, job training and people recovering from disasters.

Johnnie Hightower says, "Thank you very much you have a very Christmas." This is Hightower's first year as a bell ringer. He is volunteering 40 hours a week and has been assigned to the location where an attempted robbery happened just two days ago.

He says, "I don't even think about that, I just think about doing positive. There are too many good people out here to worry about the bad. I just think about the smiles on peoples face when they come and give."

The would-be robber reportedly started at the Walmart on Skyline but the bell ringer stood his ground. The suspect and his passengers then drove down the road to JcPenney where he walked up to the ringer with a dollar, and then held up a 9 millimeter gun and asked for the kettle.

Latresha Woodruff with the Conway Police Department explains, "At that point the victim told him, ‘You can do whatever you want, I'm not going to give you the kettle' and they stared each other down for just a little bit and the car pulled off."

The volunteers continued to ring their bells and didn't contact police.  "If he had reported it immediately there is a possibility we could have started looking for the person and potentially stop them before they do this again, and the next time who knows," Woodruff says.

Not only did the suspect get away without the kettle, the dollar the suspect handed the bell ringer made it into the kettle for charity.

Conway police are looking for a red Camaro. It possibly has a Missouri license plate. The male suspect had two female passengers and a male passenger. All four are reportedly black and in their 20's.

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