Thou shalt not steal – especially in church

| October 5, 2010

Two churchgoers were arrested Sunday and accused of violating one of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not steal.

Heather Dunn attended a Sunday morning service at Living Waters Worship Center, 3801 N. U.S. 441, and put her purse under her seat. She stepped away briefly and returned to find the purse missing, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies came to investigate. The purse, minus the victim's wallet and other items, was later found in a church bathroom.

In his report, Deputy Robert Youmans Jr. noted that security video of the congregation showed two suspects, later identified as Sunshine Wagner, 30, and Raeanne Clever, 20. The video shows the women leaving their seats and sitting near where the purse had been left.

As the two women were leaving church, they were confronted by other worshippers. Clever reportedly told them she picked up the purse; then she and Wagner left, according to the report.

Youmans found the women at a nearby home and asked them to step outside with their purses. Both told Youmans they didn't have the victim's money and began dumping out their purses.

Inside one purse was a glass pipe commonly used for smoking marijuana, according to the report. Youmans then moved to arrest Wagner, who reportedly resisted.

During a tussle, Wagner grabbed something out of her bra before Youmans was able to arrest her. In her fist was $75 in crumpled bills, according to the report. Meanwhile, Clever attempted to stuff money and some pills into the liner of a child's car seat nearby, the deputy alleged.

Clever reportedly told Youmans she took the purse, then left it in the church bathroom, while Wagner kept the victim's CDs, car phone charger, hair spray and lotion.

Both women were arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail. They were held on charges of petty theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. Wagner was additionally charged with resisting arrest.

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Category: Church Security

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