Surveillance footage catches thief steal $4,000 from elderly church parishioner

A thief in Boyle Heights robbed more than $4,000 off an 80-year-old parishioner -- and police say he's still out there.

The thief struck the Church of the Assumption a little over a week ago when a man named Martin Acosta was walking out to his car carrying the bag of money from a weekend church collection.

Surveillance footage caught the thief walking behind him, grabbing the bag, and dragging the man along with him for several feet.

A church leader, Linda Lara was inside the church when the robbery happened.

"He did not let go until it seemed like when he hit the back of his head," said Lara.

She says the stolen money was raised partly to build a fence around the church.

"We are not a rich church here. We do work hard for our monies and the community to give, give what they can," said Lara.

It's one of the many tragedies hitting the church in recent months.

Just in December, a nun named Raquez Diaz was hit crossing the street in front of the church. She died a week later. There were also two burglaries at the church in the last year.

The church hopes the men are caught, not just to get back the money, but to restore faith that this won't happen again.

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