Winston-Salem police say bell ringer James Griffin III told them when returned from the Belk store to his post, the kettle and the $50 in it were gone.
Police Lt. Brad Yandell says there is no video of Tuesday's theft, and investigators have no leads.
Maj. James Allison, commander of the Salvation Army of Winston-Salem, says the agency would have helped if the thief had a need.
Griffin returned to his post on Wednesday, and the Belk store manager put $100 into the replacement kettle.
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