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Suspect caught on camera stealing from Lynchburg church

Surveillance Photo 2.jpg

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) - A suspect was caught on camera stealing from a local church.

Lynchburg police said surveillance video shows a suspect breaking into Christian Chapel Ministries on Holiday Street on July 24, 2017.

They said he then walked out of the church with an undisclosed amount of cash. Neighbors can't believe someone would steal from a place of worship.

A bible scripture reads "My house will be a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves." Residents in the area said it's what comes to mind when they think about what happened.

"It disturbs me, because they're stealing from God. That place is a place to go worship, not to steal. If you need help, then they would help you. All you have to do is ask," said resident Steven Williams.

Williams has lived on the same street for more than 40 years and knows the pastor.

"It's always been a staple in the community, always been a safe place. It's just a fun-loving place to go worship," he said.

But the man shown on camera breaking into the church after hours had something else in mind.

"I can't understand why they would break in, you know, because Ray Triplett and all of them that come here, they're all nice people," said Lester Greene, another resident.

"Reverend Triplett, I think he's a great pastor. All the members there are great people, they're people of God, they're friendly," said Williams.

Both said it's not the first time someone has broken into the church. "Someone broke in and stole some instruments and things like that," Williams said.

They do hope the suspect comes forward.

"It's a shame, either way you go," said Williams. "You don't steal from the Lord."

They believe the neighborhood is still safe, and hope police recover what was taken.

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