Woman steals instruments, iPad from church

Police believe same woman may have burglarized another business

Woman steals instruments, iPad from church

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis church wants to find the woman who stole from their congregation as services were ending.

Memphis police want to know who the woman is.

The crimes caught on video surveillance show a woman burglarizing a church and a business over the past several months both nowhere near each other.

"She came in and took both guitars and the backpack that had the iPad and laptop in it,” said Char Selph. Selph, administrator for the Whitten Baptist Church at Whitten and Macon, said it happened on Sunday when people were still at church.

In the church surveillance video, you can see people leaving a meeting. While this was happening, there was also a church service going on.

The woman seen on the video is seen walking through the church. She got a backpack in the sanctuary with a laptop and an iPad in it. It belonged to the 26-year-old music minister.

Surveillance of the church thief (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Surveillance of the church thief (Source: WMC Action News 5) (WMC Action News 5)

“He’s newly married,” Selph said. “Has a baby on the way and that’s his livelihood. He works four part-time jobs and he used that laptop and the iPad to do all of his work.”

The woman also took two guitars behind drums that belonged to a 20-year-old student who plays music at the church.

In the video, the woman is seen pulling her car up to the church. She had apparently stashed what she took inside. You can see a guitar case she is putting in her car, and she drives off.

"For someone to just come in and take things that don’t belong to them, that’s a little disheartening,” Selph said.

Josh Brigham, owner of Mid-South Auto on Highway 51, said his video surveillance showed the same woman burglarizing his business in July.

“It was 5 p.m. Friday closing, we had one customer left,” Brigham said. “When she came in to my business she acted real erratic and was almost in tears disheveled and said ‘I need to talk to y’all.’”

When a customer and employee went outside, you can see the woman going around the counter, rifling through things.

Brigham says she got away with $600. At this auto business and the church the woman drove the same distinctive car, a Chevy Cobalt with half of it one shade of red and the other half another shade of red. There are chrome pieces on the car.

(WMC Action News 5)

Memphis police said investigators are looking at the connection between the two burglaries.

If you know who that woman is call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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