Palo Alto police are looking for a church goer who parishioners say ripped off cash from the circulating collection baskets at church.
Sgt. Ken Kratt told NBC Bay Area on Thursday that the unholy heist was reported on Sunday – the 15th anniversary of 9/11 – from the Cornerstone Community Church near the Corner of East Meadow Drive and Middlefield Road around 1:30 p.m.
"We think he was very desperate, he needed that money for whatever reason," Pastor Joseph Park told NBC Bay Area on Thursday. "We have people coming to our church now and then asking for needs and stuff. And we try help them as much as we can. This was not the way he should've approached us."
A police report indicates the possible suspect was in the back of the predominantly Korean church. After he was seen leaving the church, a church representative noticed the collection baskets were missing, Kratt said. The collection usually yields about $8,000 to $10,000, the church workers told police, although no one had an exact tally on what was missing from Sunday’s service. One witness told the pastor that it seemed like the man was putting money into the basket but then he took it away, which looked suspicious to him.
Kratt said that no witnesses actually saw anyone steal anything from the basket.
In the meantime, the pastor is praying for the thief. "We are staring to pray for that person as well, for him to know the Lord and for God to provide for his needs. And maybe come to light as well."