Detectives are looking for a man who broke into a popular Northwest Philadelphia church earlier this month and stole money out of the tithe box.
Police reported that the thief took $20,000 to $25,000 from Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church; however, the church’s pastor, the Rev. Alyn Waller, said Tuesday in a Facebook video that a “small amount, if anything” was removed from the box.
The incident occurred Saturday, Nov. 12, at the church’s campus on the 2800 block of Cheltenham Avenue in the Cedarbrook neighborhood, according to authorities.
Surveillance video released Tuesday shows the burglar, described by police as a heavyset man with a backpack, prying open a safe before leaving with envelopes. Investigators said he smashed a glass door to enter the church.
Waller said the box, where members can drop off donations, had recently been emptied, adding: “We have every reason to believe that that number that is out there is not a real number.”
Still, he urged church members to watch the clip and said Enon Tabernacle would be reviewing and updating its security protocols.
“If you are willing to come in, if you are willing to admit, we’re willing to help you,” Waller said, speaking to the suspect.
Anyone with information about the burglary can contact PPD Northwest Detectives at 215-686-3353/3354; call or text 214-686-8477; or submit a tip at www.phillypolice.com/forms/submit-a-tip.