After the offering tray at his Stockton church was robbed Sunday, the pastor took matters into his own hands to track down the alleged thief.
The theft happened around 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church at East Vine and North Center streets, according to Stockton police.
When the suspect entered the church, he began taking money from the tray. Church volunteers noticed what the suspect was doing and tried to intervene. However, the man pushed one of the volunteers out of his way and made a dash for the door, police said.
Following Sunday service, Pastor Gus Wright learned of the theft and decided to go to work, police said.
Based on the volunteer’s description, Wright managed to locate the reported suspect, later identified as Tracy Johnson, 50. The two then talked for a long time, while another church member called police said.
“We have folks in the church who were upset,” Wright said. “It felt unsettling to be in a worship space, where you expect to be comfortable and worship God in peace.”
Police arrived sometime after being alerted to Wright’s discovery, and arrested Johnson, charging him with stealing money from the church.