A brazen thief strutted up to the altar of a Palo Alto church and swiped up to $10,000 in collection money in front of a crowd of incredulous parishioners, then ran off, police said.
The theft allegedly occurred at the end of a service on Sunday at the Cornerstone Community Church, a Korean American church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. It happened about 1 p.m., right after the pastor wrapped up a sermon in which he said repeatedly that “all are welcome” at the service, according to a Youtube video.
But the video cuts off before the suspect, a man between 35 and 40 years old, fled the church on the 700 block of East Meadow Drive with a mix of cash and checks had been placed in the collection plate, police said.
The stolen money would have gone to church maintenance and charity, said Sam Aum, the young adult pastor at the church.
“I was surprised that it was very bold, in the middle of the day when people were watching,” Aum said. “Apparently he was all smiles and very friendly, and then at the end of the service, he ran off with it.”
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SOURCE: Michael Bodley