May 17, 2004 -- Posted at 4:59 p.m. CDT
POPLAR BLUFF -- Thieves have made off with church collection baskets in one Region 8 town, and it's certainly an unwelcome suprise at the Sunday service. The string of church thefts has left folks in Poplar Bluff wondering why?
Police received a tip when they arrested Phillip Wayne Evans for cashing a check taken from the Church of God. And within an hour, police had 51-year-old Gary Wayne Keller in custody.
The Sacred Heart Catholic Church was also robbed on May 9th...the thief walked with Sunday's collection, estimated at $10,000 dollars. But police officials don't believe that this crime is linked to the others, and are still working the case.
Sacred Heart asked their parishoners to redonate the money that was stolen, but church officials say it will be hard to figure out just how much they lost, because they had not counted the money when it was taken. Police officials say they are working to solve this crime, but nabbing a theif is always good.