Thief steals electronics, guitars from church during service

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A bold thief in Memphis did the unthinkable — stealing from a church while service is going on.

It happened Sunday afternoon at Whitten Memorial Baptist Church in Northeast Memphis. Police say the woman got away with $3,000 worth of electronics and equipment.

"She took a backpack and the backpack had a laptop and iPad and some music in it, and then she took two guitars with the cases," said church administrator Char Selph.

Church cameras were rolling the whole time, meanwhile people were worshiping in another service on the other side of the building.

"She came in and kinda looked around, went down the hallway, went through the double doors, checked the hallways out, went into the sanctuary ran into one of our members that was here and even spoke to her," said Selph.

Selph says the backpack and the guitars were in the sanctuary. After looking around, the woman drove her car to this door and stashed the items inside before getting away.

"It's a little disheartening, we're definitely a community involved church," said Selph.

Selph says the guitars belong to a 20-year-old college student who helps out around the church.

"Our music minister said his laptop was about $1,100 and his iPad was about $1,300," said Selph.  "He's a young 26-year-old music minister, who's recently married and they have their first baby on the way and it's kind of a tough pill to swallow for him."

Selph says they haven't been robbed before but now they're taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"So moving forward, I think our pastor and we also have a security team working together to try and come up with what we need to do moving forward as trying to secure the church a little better."

The crook got away in a red Chevy Cobalt, the year a 2005-2008.

In the meantime, if you would like to donate or help the church in any way call their office number 901-386-5444. They're open Monday-Thursday.

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