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Church offerings stolen from unlocked truck


PURCELL, Okla. — Crime has never been much of a concern for folks in Purcell, until recently.

This community of 6,006 has been at the center of a month-long crime spree. 

Businesses, homes and cars have all been burglarized.

Police said they’ve taken about $30,000 in cash and property stolen so far.

Dan and Sherrie Smith lead a small congregation of about 50 people here at Sanctuary Christian Center.

Sherrie, like a lot of folks here, parked her car in the driveway and didn’t lock the door. 

Sadly, that gave thieves easy access to the entire Sunday morning offering.

Cash, checks and all the church records were in bank bags Sherrie planned to deposit the next morning.

Smith said, “They didn’t steal from me, they stole from God, and our people, our precious folks who tithe and give offerings to our church faithfully.”

Sherrie is embarrassed she left the church offering in an unlocked vehicle. 

But police said it’s a recurring theme in this trusting town. 

Lt. James New said, “People think we live in a community where you don’t have to lock your doors or secure your vehicles. That’s just not true.”

The theft was a big hit to the Christian Center. 

But the church family holds no grudges.

Sherrie Smith said, “They touched God’s money that God will touch them in some miraculous way.”