Anaheim church thieves steal pastor's phone with irreplaceable photos

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
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Two women were caught on video stealing from an Anaheim church during Sunday service, taking the pastor's cellphones with irreplaceable personal photos.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- Surveillance video shows two women rifling through an office at a Lutheran church in Anaheim as the Sunday worship service takes place just steps away.

They find what they want, walking away with the pastor's wallet, keys and cellphone. They also stole a $300 check donation from the family of a former pastor who died a few weeks ago.

Vicki Rufsvold, the pastor with Faith Lutheran Church, said money aside, there are some things that were stolen that can't be replaced.

For example, photos taken while visiting the place where she spread her daughter's ashes. The 25-year-old died from brain cancer six years ago.

"My husband and I would visit where we scattered her ashes up in Big Sur and some of these pictures in particular are very moving and spiritually moving to me," she said.

She's pleading with the thieves to return the cellphone. The pastor says she's already forgiven them.

"Absolutely I forgive them. I'm sad for them and I pray for them and I'd love to talk to them."

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1(855)-TIP-OCCS.