Police: Parishioner caught with cash, church envelopes

| May 13, 2010

WARREN — A parishioner at a Lutheran church in Warren now faces a larceny charge after police said he admitted to taking more than $300 collected during a Sunday morning service on May 2.

According to Warren Police Lt. Michael Torey, 49-year-old Kevin John Hampson of Sterling Heights was arrested after officers were called to the Crown of Life Evangelical Lutheran Church, on Ryan south of 14 Mile Road, at about 12:30 p.m., as a suspect in an alleged theft was reportedly still on the property.

“He belongs to the church. He’s a parish member,” Torey said, adding that church officials, suspicious of possible thefts recently, had installed a video system inside an office where the funds were kept.

“After the early morning service at 8 a.m., one of the parishioners counted the money and recorded and documented the loose bills, as well as how many envelopes were there,” Torey said. “After the 11 a.m. service — they went back in there shortly after noon — it looked like someone had gone through it. They checked the videotape. The individual they had caught on the videotape in the office was out in the parking lot talking to some people.”

Torey said officers noticed Hampson throw something onto the floor of his Ford Ranger pickup truck when they arrived. They later allegedly found him in the possession of seven church envelopes containing a total of $272 in cash. He also allegedly had two $20 bills bearing serial numbers that were recorded earlier as part of the church collection.

“We talked to him. He admitted to taking it on Sunday,” Torey said, adding that Hampson denied having a role in any other thefts from the church. “He said he was laid-off and needed the money.”

Hampson was arraigned on May 3 before 37th District Court Judge Dawnn Gruenburg on a single charge of larceny from a building, a four-year felony. His bond was set at $2,500 cash or surety.

Hampson requested court-appointed legal counsel and was due back in court on May 11 for a preliminary hearing.

Anyone with information about thefts at the church can reach Warren detectives at (586) 574-4810.



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Category: Church Security