NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "It's a fine line between doing what's right for a brother in need, but it's another thing to be taken advantage of by evil," says Louis Sanders.
Sanders, the council president of the Love Lutheran Church in Algiers, believes the evil that unfolded inside the church last week is sad.
"Thursday morning at about 9:30, our part time employee opened the door leading to the parking lot of the church and was tidying up," says Sanders.
Surveillance video shows a vehicle pull up and a man walk up to the victim. Sanders says he asked her for gas money.
"The person or staff members was here by themselves, so she continued the conversation with the gentleman thinking she was representing the church and wanted to do the Christian thing and find out if she could really help them. It turned out to not be so," says Sanders.
Sanders says the door was open, and as the victim walked back into the church, the man followed her inside.
"It seems as though the man was genuine in his desire for gas money, and there was no evil intent, but that turned out not to be so when he said to her, 'Maybe the church doesn't have money, but you have money.' She then volunteered the fact that she had $7 on her person," says Sanders.
Moments later, he says the man reached over and dug into the woman's pockets, grabbing her money and taking off.
"It might seem like a minor incident, but we're inside the church. What is left sacred these days if we're inside the church and can't be safe?" says Sanders.
This is the second time the church has been victimized. The last time, thieves stole all three of their air- conditioning units.
"These are the new ones. The units have all been replaced," says Sanders.
That theft caused the church to put bars around the units, get an alarm system and cameras.
"It's a busy area. I interviewed a couple of folks around the neighborhood, and nobody saw anything," says Sanders.
He says the NOPD caught the people responsible for the theft. Now, parishioners are praying police catch the man responsible for the latest robbery inside the church.
"We hope that our congregation pulling together for resolution for this person is positive and it happens before anybody gets hurt," says Sanders.
The church is looking forward to it's first Night out Against Crime this year. Sanders says they want people to know they care about the community and want to be part of the solution.