It happened at Collegeside Church of Christ on East 9th St. between 7:50 p.m. and 8:10 p.m., says a report by Cookeville Police Officer Brian Long.
The victim told the officer she was waiting in a church hallway near the gym for a family member. She placed her purse on a table and turned away for a short time talking to other church members. When she returned to get her purse, it was gone."
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The above article represents one of my pet peeve's in relation to church security. I can not count how many times I have observed someone walk into church and place their purse or bag down on a chair or table and then just walk away. The above article states that the person just "turned around"; however, more times then not people will walk away from their belongings.
The church setting can provide a false sense of security for some. Thieves know and understand this and will look these settings to take advantage of. Some thieves may make it a regular practice to attend a church to learn how they function and then when the time is right strike.
My recommendation would be to make it your churches policy that members do not leave items unattended. This is for their own security and yours as well. You never know what is in that back and you would not want someone to place something like a bomb inside of one and just walk away. Similarly you would not want someone to leave their purse or bag and have a predator steal money, credit cards, cell phones, laptops, or any other item of value.