Surveillance video shows burglar stealing cash from South Memphis church

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police are looking for the person who smashed a glass door and stole cash from a safe in a South Memphis church early Saturday morning.

Officers responded to an alarm at Unity Baptist Church on South Third Street around 3:30 a.m. They found the glass on the front door had been shattered.

An undisclosed amount of cash had been taken from an unlocked safe in the church's finance room.

The church had security video of a suspect that they showed to police. No arrest has been made.

A church member said the stolen money helps with everything from members' funeral costs to other people in the community.

“When someone needs help to pay utilities, any help we can give, that’s what it’s for,” church member Ruth Rawlings said.

Neighbors say burglaries, even with churches, are unfortunately common in South Memphis.

“I think it’s a horrible shame. It’s a darn shame,” Melvin Canada said.

But Rawlings says the break-in won’t stop them. They’re a historic congregation and will continue to make an impact.

“The churches here in South Memphis are a staple. When someone is in need of anything, it can be a death in the family or catastrophic happening. That’s what the church is here for — we are here for the community.”

Rawlings said the church still held services Sunday and they say they are determined to keep serving their South Memphis community.

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