Thief Steals From Church; Suspect Caught On Camera

Surveillance image of the man Pueblo police say has stolen from a local church at least three times.

First Church Of The Nazarene has been a target for a thief for the past three months.

"It's sad. It's a real bummer because we are here to help our community," said Pastor Jim Murray.

Now Pueblo police are hoping someone will recognize his face.

Surveillance cameras were installed at the church back in August when church leaders first realized someone was stealing their sound equipment.

Since the cameras were installed, the suspect has been caught on video twice.

In video from the third week of September, the suspect can be seen walking into the sanctuary, then, noticing the surveillance cameras, covering his face. The video goes on to show him stuff something under his shirt, then walk back out.

Murray says the suspect returned a month later. He's caught on surveillance asking for a discount card for prescription drugs, something Murray says the suspect also asked for on a previous visit to the church.

"We gave him another...then [he] asked if could go in the sanctuary and asked if he could go in and pray," Murray recalled.

"P-R-E-Y, not 'pray.'"

The suspect once again took sound equipment.

Altogether the suspect has gotten away with about $1,500 worth of items. Murray believes he's using a fire escape to leave the church with his loot.

Each of the thefts has been committed on the third Monday of the month, which also happens to be Murray's day off.

Murray says he knows many people are going through hard times, and wants people in the community to know the church is there for anyone in need. If you need something, Murray says, simply come and ask.

"Folks are in desperate times. My hope is that we continue to help them, that's what Jesus would do, that's what we want to do."

Security cameras will remain up and a doorbell has now been installed. The pastor says they want to protect their people and their property.

Police now have the surveillance and pictures of the man. Anyone who recognizes him is asked to call Detective Cantin at 719-553-2506 or Pueblo Crime Stoppers at 542-STOP.