Stafford County: Thief targets churches, steals from congregants

STAFFFORD, Va. (WJLA) - Investigators allege that the man in these surveillance photos recently posed as a prospective member of two Stafford County churches so that he could rip them off.

"Stealing is against the law, but it's really bad form when you decide to steal from the church," says Bill Kennedy with the Stafford County Sherriff's Office.

According to police, the suspect first went to Mount Ararat Baptise – one of the biggest churches in the area – just last Thursday with the intent to gain the trust of an employee. He acted like he was new to town and said he was thinking of worshiping with the congregation.

But investigators say the suspect left soon after pilfering the wallet out of someone’s purse.

Just a few days later, police say he did the same thing at nearby Rock Hill Baptist Church. Greg Poss is Executive Pastor, and says:

“It is disappointing. But the fact is if he had come in and said I need some help, I've had some hard times, we would have helped him. He would have gotten more than what he stole."

It appears that the surveillance images taken at Mount Ararat Baptist Church show a person who appears to be in need of salvation.

"We've certainly forgiven him. We don't wish him any ill. But I'm sure he's going to get caught and have to suffer the consequences through the legal system," says Pastor Poss.

Police say the suspect is around 30 years old, short, with brown hair, a full beard, and sideburns.