Local Church Advises People to Be Aware of Thieves This Christmas

Local Church Advises People to Be Aware of Thieves This Christmas

Zora Asberry
NewsWest 9 

ODESSA - Christmas is a holiday of giving but some people are more concerned with taking, causing some churches to invest in security during the holidays.

Father Mark Woodruff of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church said, "Church is a place where people really feel at home and they feel like it's a religious atmosphere, so they're not realizing that unscrupulous, dishonest people can take advantage of that situation."

Unfortunately, some people do capitalize on situations such as this but this isn't the first time St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Odessa has fallen victim to thieves.

"One morning, we had a morning service during the week, someone had come to church a 6:30 a.m. and their car was broken into. It was very surprising to us, we thought we were pretty secure that early in the morning but we weren't," Woodruff said.

Although theft happens year round, many churches are more concerned during Christmas, when there is a larger influx of people, who tend to be more carefree during the holidays.

"It is a sad time because people are in want, there's a lot of poverty in our community and that does inspire people to do dishonest things. So we just hope that those who are generous, will be generous to the poor and needy so that some people won't have to turn to stealing," Woodruff said.

Some churches have opted to hire parking lot security during church services and events such as mass but for those who don't have security, Father Woodruff offered a few tips.

"Just be cautious, the police departments in our communities advise people whenever they're out to not bring valuables in their car. Even hiding them in the trunk doesn't necessarily work. Just be very cautious because there are thieves on the prowl," Woodruff said.

Local churches and police departments are urging people to be more mindful this Christmas by not making themselves targets for thieves.