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Police have two suspects in Salvation Army red kettle theft in Minnesota

Two suspects have been identified in the theft of a Salvation Army donation kettle outside a Blaine grocery earlier this month.

Hundreds of tips poured in after officials released surveillance video of two people stealing a kettle on Dec. 4 outside the Blaine Cub Foods store at Northtown Mall. One of those tips led investigators to the suspects, according to a statement Friday by Blaine police.

Investigators will turn their case over to the Anoka County Attorney’s Office for possible charges. The names of the suspects were not released.

More than 1.3 million people viewed the department’s Facebook post about the theft. It shows thieves apparently using bolt cutters to remove the donation kettle from its stand. The thieves were dubbed “the Two Grinches” on social media.

Money from the kettles would normally go toward Salvation Army services, such as disaster relief, as well as food and shelter programs for the poor. It was not clear how much money was in the kettle at the time.

The Salvation Army has set a $2.5 million goal this year for the kettle donation drive.