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It’s been said hiring good help is difficult these days, but when Life.Church in South Oklahoma City suspected a hired security guard was stealing from the offering, they decided to take matters into their own hands. Marking bills, notating large amounts on the outside of the envelopes, and implementing the use of GPS tracking devices and cameras led church leaders to their culprit … a hired security guard!
A security officer at a south Oklahoma City church has been charged with attempted grand larceny after the ministry’s leaders set up a sting that prosecutors say caught him stealing from the church collection plate.
James Lee Smith, 52, allegedly illegally removed three envelopes of cash from Life.Church South Oklahoma City while he was employed to provide security at the church.
Smith was an Oklahoma County Sheriff’s reserve deputy at the time of the incident. Smith was fired once the investigation was revealed.
Church staff members conducted an investigation. They placed four donation envelopes into a collection plate after the 10:30 a.m. service on Dec. 17. The four envelopes each contained cash in small bills plus small GPS tracking devices.
Three of the four envelopes were missing after Smith supervised the sorting of the envelopes. According to the affidavit,
“Although the three missing envelopes were each labeled with different dollar amounts indicating $1,000, $1,250 and $500, they “in fact, contained $300 in bait money that had been placed in the offering proceeds by church personnel in an attempt to identify who was stealing cash contributions from the church.”
“Smith was observed on a hidden surveillance camera taking the collection envelopes that typically contain cash donated to the church and placing them into his pants pocket.”
According to the report, the envelopes were never found, but the tracking devices were found inside a trash container behind the church. Aside from losing his credibility, reputation and job, his actions have made everyone inside the church a little less trusting.
A Corpus Christi pastor was attacked by a a man with possible mental problems as he led a home service as part of a 40 day pledge taken by church members. Members identified the suspect as a parishioner.
According to Time:
One man has died after he and three others were stabbed during a church service at a private home in Corpus Christi, Texas.
A reported 20 people were in the home Wednesday night when a member of the congregation used a knife to stab four men. A 61-year-old man later died of his injuries, while the church’s 54-year-old pastor was hospitalized in serious condition. The man was identified as Frank Castillo.
A band member was stabbed in the neck and the pastor was stabbed in his chest, and both men were taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police said the other two victims suffered puncture wounds — one to his hand and the other to his arm — while trying to get the suspect away from the pastor.
The suspect, 28-year-old Marco Antonio Moreno, immediately surrendered to congregants after the stabbing, Hooper said. Moreno was being held at the Nueces County jail on Thursday on charges of murder and aggravated assault.
“The officers at the scene suspect there is a mental health issue with the offender,” said Hooper, who noted that Moreno has an “alcohol- and drug-related history” with police.
When people are angry it can be difficult to talk or reason with them. The officer in this story did his level best, but in the end he was unable assuage a local pastor’s anger. A little background: A young man fled his home after beating up his mother with the telephone. The injuries were bad enough, the mother was taken to the hospital and the suspect was being sought for felony charges.
He fled into the church, which also houses a school, and when they police arrived the secretary opened the door and allowed them in. The arrest was peaceful – until the pastor showed up.
Int the video below, I give my two cents to help you understand the flow of the verbal altercation. Please use it in your training efforts and comment in the comments section below.
Sometimes politicians should stick with what they know, but if they started doing this they would know longer be politicians.
The Virginia Senate has passed legislation allowing guns in church in response to a deadly church shooting in TX, which the governor has promised to veto.
The Republican-controlled chamber voted along party lines Tuesday to approve the measure, which would repeal a state law prohibiting weapons in a place of worship during a religious service.
Those in support of the measure think Virginia’s prohibition on carrying a “gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger,” or other dangerous weapons into churches during worship service is an archaic remnant of the state’s “blue laws” enacted in the 1800s to prohibit certain activities on Sundays.
A state Attorney General’s opinion from 2011 says current law already allows Virginians to carry guns in churches, subject to a church’s permission. But Republican Sen. Ben Chafin, said the legislature needed to clarify and cement the right to carry a gun in church into law if a church allows it.
Chafin states, “It’s a private property rights issue.”
Much of the debate on the bill focused on last year’s church shooting in Texas, when a gunman opened fire during a Sunday service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs and killed more than two dozen worshippers.
“In the communities that I represent, there are a whole lot of first Baptist churches,” he said.
Democratic Sen. Jeremy McPike said the Republican bill was too broad and there were better ways of letting houses of worship decide their own weapons policies.
“Those who are voting for this measure are voting for guns over God,” Democrat Jeremy McPike said.
His legislation requiring that individuals carrying guns in churches have “express authorization” from the church to do so was blocked earlier this year.