Matthew Pochily, director of public relations for the Salvation Army, said in a news release that one man distracted the bell ringer about 2:30 p.m. while a second man snuck up behind him, unhooked the kettle and fled.
While it was uncertain how much money the thieves took, the Salvation Army set a goal of $650 or more at the location for Black Friday, Pochily said in the release.
Anyone with information about the thieves is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
"It's sad that at a time of great thanks, someone felt it necessary to steal from an organization who's mission is to serve those in need," said Major Lewis Reckline of the Salvation Army. "The money that they may have gotten away with in that kettle is no match for the services we offer that may have been able to help them had they come though our doors seeking assistance."
The Salvation Army, Walmart officials and Norfolk Police have since worked together to piece together a description of the two men, according to the news release. No description of the thieves was available.
The Salvation Army has more than 150 kettle locations throughout Hampton Roads. The Salvation Army rings bells Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Those interested in supporting the Salvation Army can visit SalArmyHR.org to donate online, sign-up to be a volunteer bell ringer or host their own Online Red Kettle. Donations can also be made via mobile device by texting SAL to 50555.
Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from the Salvation Army each year. Their social services include providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children.