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Only On 9: Surveillance Tape Captures Images Of Young Girl Who Allegedly Stole Purse Inside Church

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NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com)  — Suspects in crimes being captured on surveillance video are becoming rather commonplace.

But one such capture Saturday is raising lots of eyebrows.

A little girl is shown running out of St. Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood holding a woman’s purse.

Church officials said the little girl and her mother came to the church seeking assistance and money. While the mother asked for a glass of cold water, authorities said her very young daughter, instead, went in search of cold hard cash.

The girl then stole the purse and then ran out of the church — her mother soon followed.

The purse’s owner told KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper that she was on edge following the theft.

The victim told Hopper that the theft is sad — because it happened inside a church but it’s even sadder that a child helped commit the crime.

“To have a child be the perpetrator of this crime is just terrible,” said Gretchen Schrek.

The purse owner is also the church’s secretary and wedding coordinator. Schrek said after the little girl grabbed her purse, she ran out to a waiting car where the father and another child were waiting.

“It’s just, it’s just the whole experience has just been horrible. Horrible. I thought it was safe in here and now it’s not,” Schrek said.

The purse contained $250. Schrek was just tipped $150 for a wedding. She also had a $100 bill that was given to her from her father — she’s had that bill for years.

The purse was also brand new — a gift from her four children.

Schrek wanted to get the word out — if only to keep another church from being hit.

“It’s just heartbreaking to think that people are so selfish and to exploit your children is just tragic,” she said.

Detectives are investigating.

If you recognize the girl, you’re asked to call North Hollywood Police immediately.

For more on St. Charles Borromeo Church, click here.

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