Kokomo police: Thief steals girl scout leader’s purse from inside church

KOKOMO, Ind. - A thief targeted a church and stole a woman’s purse.

A couple weeks ago, Merry Ricketts was at First Christian Church for a girl scout meeting.

“We were working with kids. 8’clock my purse was there, and we were cleaning up and 10-15 minutes later it was gone,” said said.

Police released surveillance pictures of the thief using the stolen credit cards at local restaurants just hours after the theft.

“That’s sad! How can you do that? What are you thinking? That is just awful. I can’t imagine she’s that desperate,” she said.

Ricketts says her purse was never more than 20 feet from her. She doesn’t recognize the woman from the pictures, but she wants her to know that she also stole from children.

“I even had stuff in there that was the girls’, stuff that was earmarked for my girl scouts, I had a $100 gift card in there for my girl scouts,” said Ricketts.

Police say a tip from social media helped them identify the thief. Investigators believe she may be connected to other church thefts.

“You can’t believe somebody would do that, would steal from a church," said Major Brian Seldon with the Kokomo Police Department.

Ricketts says if the thief really needed help, all she had to do was ask.

“I can’t imagine what they were thinking or why they would do that? (With) all the woman there, if someone needed something we would give it to them. We would find a way,” said Ricketts.

Police have identified the thief. So far, she has not been arrested.

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