SACRAMENTO — Two women pulled a pray and dash at a Sacramento-area church, showing up as guests, then making off with the collection totaling thousands of dollars in Easter offerings, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
Like most churches, the Church of the Nazarene was enjoying a packed house for Easter. Longtime parishioner and former state Assemblyman Larry Bowler said there were many extra guests and occasional churchgoers.
According to sheriff's deputies, two guests were spotted in the church office about 11:20 a.m. But before staff could verify whether they had permission to be there, the women were gone — along with between $10,000 and $20,000 in cash and checks.
Such crimes against churches are "quite unusual," said Capt. Scott Jones.
Over the last two years, eight churches have been robbed, according to an analysis of law enforcement and business records of houses of worship in Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Roseville, Elk Grove and unincorporated Sacramento County.
"They are usually not huge targets," Jones said, noting that theft by church members is more common.
The women left in a faded black '80s sedan, Jones said. One was wearing a purple shirt, the other a black shirt, Jones said. No arrests have been made.
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