Church Volunteer Accused Of Theft

| December 24, 2009

PONTIAC, Mich. — A 71-year-old church volunteer accused of stealing thousands of dollars from St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Pontiac was charged Monday in the crime.

Salley Crake entered not guilty pleas in a Pontiac courtroom Tuesday to felony charges of embezzlement and larceny.

Police said Crake had been stealing hundreds of dollars once a week from the church located at 46408 Woodward Ave.

At the time of her arrest on Monday, she had $800 on her, said Pontiac police Sgt. Steve Troy.

Church officials suspected someone was stealing from the collection plate when it was being counted back in November and set up surveillance cameras.

Police said Crake was caught her on surveillance video taking the money and stuffing it down her pants.

However, investigators said that they believe that Crake may have been stealing money from the plate long before anyone at the church began to notice.

The Rev. James Kean said he was not aware of any previous issues with Crake when he started at the church in July.

"The pain of realizing this is someone you know, the pain of realizing that this is going to be and have a huge impact on the community," Kean told Local 4.

Crake was ordered to stay out of Pontiac and not to have any communication with the church. She will be back in court on Dec. 29 for another hearing.

"We prayed for the person involved in this. We prayed for what's going to happen when the details started to come to light," said Kean.

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Category: Church Security

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