A woman was charged yesterday with stealing from a church while purporting to be a worshipper.

Mary Wanjiru was arraigned before Kibera senior principal magistrate Barbara Ojoo. She was accused of stealing from congregants at All Saints Cathedral Church, Nairobi.

According to police reports, Wanjiru, a regular at the church, was captured by CCTV stealing bags and phones during a wedding ceremony on Saturday.

The investigating officer said she stole two handbags belonging to Margaret Njeri and Brenda Watiti. Inside Margaret’s bag were two mobile phones — one worth Sh9,459 and another Sh23,000 — some cash in a purse, an umbrella and other personal belongings valued at Sh16,000.

From Brenda, Wanjiru is accused of stealing items worth Sh30,000 and a Sh1,200 handbag.

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Wanjiru had returned to the church as always on Sunday when security guards alerted the police.

“She was spotted inside All Saints Cathedral by the church security, praying and worshipping. That is when she was arrested,” the officer said.

The investigating officer told court Wanjiru had been captured on several occasions stealing from congregants before she was arrested on September 21.

“After we confirmed that she was the one caught on CCTV, we booked her at the Capitol Hill police station,” the court heard.

The officer said Wanjiru had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges but denied the accusations when she was arraigned.

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The police allegedly recovered a number of items, including handbags, umbrellas and phone chargers belonging to the church members from Wanjiru’s house on Dagoretti Corner estate.

“She gave us access to her house and voluntarily surrendered the items she had stolen from the church,” the officer.

Ojoo granted her Sh100,000 bond and surety of the same amount. The magistrate directed the case be mentioned on October 8 and heard on November 11.

Star/ AKELLO ODENYO AND CLAUSE MASIKA

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