Boxing Day, a thief entered St. Paul’s Church during Sunday services – Twin Cities

On Boxing Day, a St. Paul’s Church was robbed of hundreds of dollars by a thief who entered, used the offering plate, stole a purse, and then demanded money. money to parishioners, police said.

St. Paul Police are looking for a black man in his twenties, of medium build, who was dressed in red when they say he entered St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. at 550 W. Seventh St. around 10 am Sunday.

Police say the man walked around on duty and stole several items. A 73-year-old woman said the man seized her purse containing her cell phone, credit cards and car keys.

Witnesses say the man lingered in the back during the service and was seen approaching the collection basket near the front door. They later learned that he had taken everything.

“He took all the money and an envelope my wife had put her contribution in,” said a victim who requested anonymity. “I ended up having to cancel my checking account and request a new one. My wife too. The lady with the stolen purse had to cancel all of her credit cards, but not soon enough. “

He said he later discovered that several thousand dollars had been fraudulently debited from his cards.

After the service, the man walked into the pastor’s office and told the 67-year-old church leader that he had been robbed and needed money to return to Memphis, Tenn. The pastor gave him $ 20, police said.

Another witness, a 74-year-old man, told officers the suspect asked for money and the witness gave him $ 30.

When the parishioners began to realize that the man was a thief, two followed him out of the church and shouted for him to stop. The suspect jumped on a bus and drove away.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

Jerry B. Hatch