Thief Steals Donations From Jonesboro Church During Weekly Dinner

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(Jonesboro, AR) A neighborhood crime alert tonight on a bold church thief.

The man walked into the First United Methodist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas and walked out with several hundred dollars, all while churchgoers looked on!

It's the second time this week a Jonesboro church has been hit.

"The gentleman entered through this door and walked calmly right over into this area."

Associate Pastor Blake Langston says the thief was wearing a hooded jacket and had most of his face covered.

A meeting room, at the First United Methodist Church, was full of members Wednesday night enjoying their weekly "get together" meal.

Reverend Langston says more than a hundred people were in the room when the theft happened, "We like to feed their bodies first and then their spirits. So it's a setup for our bible study and all of our small group activities."

It soon became clear the man in the "hoodie" wasn't interested in scripture.

He grabbed a box containing three hundred to four hundred dollars and walked out.

The cash and checks were donations from church members to help defray the cost of the weekly dinner.

No weapon was pulled and there wasn't any violent threat, but Reverend Langston believes the thief covered his face for one reason,

"We think that he probably had been here and actually had a meal with us on a Wednesday night before and that he knew exactly where everything was, so..."

First United Methodist Church sits in the heart of downtown Jonesboro, and ministers to those who have lost their jobs and homes.

Casey Ashton lives in Jonesboro and says there's just no excuse for what happened Wednesday night, "That's just not right. You don't do that at a church. You don't do it anywhere but you sure don't do it at a church."

After hearing about the theft, Taylor Smith says she doesn't know what the world's coming to, "It's just, we've fallen off, I don't understand how anyone could do something like that."

There's a security camera on the church's roof and police are checking it to see if it caught the thief making his get-a-way.

Jonesboro Police also say a Seventh Day Adventist Church was burglarized Thursday.

It's unknown if the same man is responsible.