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Grinch targets Salvation Army bell ringers in Cheektowaga

It looked like Cheektowaga had a real life Grinch on its hands.

Monday evening, a Salvation Army bell ringer was collecting donations outside the Kmart store at 2055 Walden Ave. when she was approached by a man in a Salvation Army uniform.

He told the bell ringer he was there to collect the donation kettle, police said. She handed over the cash-filled kettle, and he did not return.

Investigators said the bell ringer quickly realized that she had been duped and called the police.

It’s believed the impostor pulled the same stunt about two hours later, this time with another bell ringer at the Walden Galleria.

The two kettles are believed to have contained a total of $500 to $800.

As police were investigating, Cheektowaga Police Officer Brian Wesoloski approached the department’s two unions about making a donation to the Salvation Army in an effort to help cover the loss.

On Tuesday, Detective Donald Strozyk, Police Benevolent Association president, and Lt. Rick Roll, Captains & Lieutenants Association president, presented a $500 check to the Salvation Army.

“The Salvation Army is there to help those in need, and we wanted to help the Salvation Army in their time of need,” Strozyk said in a statement issued Tuesday.