(WMC-TV) - You may think your wallet and cell phone are safe in a sanctuary. But one Mid-South woman found out the hard way that your stuff can get stolen even at church.
Tomonsa McKinney says her Parkway Village church is all about serving the community and reaching out to the youth, but she believes she is now a victim of her kindness.
Tuesday, Memphis police saturated the parking lot outside the Parkway Village Church of Christ conducting a traffic check-point. But it was inside the church Sunday before service where Tomonsa McKinney says an unthinkable crime occurred when she walked away from her purse.
"When I returned and church started, we were asked to turn off our cell phones, I reach for it and was not able to locate it," explained McKinney.
Her cell phone, along with her wallet, had been stolen.
"I immediately tried to contact the credit card companies," she said.
Just a few blocks from the church, McKinney said the thieves tried using her debit card at a gas station, but their access was denied when they could not figure out her pin number.
When she got home after church McKinney said she contacted her son about coming over for Sunday dinner.
"He stated 'I just talked to you and you answered my text,' and I said 'No, someone has my phone."
McKinney filed a police report.
"Around 5 o'clock Sunday afternoon, we received a text on my son's phone saying 'We will return the phone for a bag of candy,'" she said.
With such a juvenile request, McKinney believes children are responsible.
"And here I am, I thought that it was a safe environment, not only me, but other women do the same, we fellowship," McKinney said.
Now she has learned a lesson. McKinney says criminals have no courtesy even at church.
"Unfortunately this was one of those incidents when you can never let your guard down, you must be careful," she said.