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Thomas Circle Singer Ripped-Off During Charity Concert At St. Paul's Lutheran Church

11:36 PM, Dec 18, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA)  -- You would think that a concert for charity at a church would be a sacred place, even for thieves.  

But ten days before Christmas, members of the Thomas Circle Singers were ripped off while performing at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Northwest D.C.

"I was driving home and I got a call from Visa Fraud Prevention saying, 'Did you authorize this purchase for $400 at a supermarket?'  I hadn't so that's when I realized my card was gone," said Jillian Laffrey, a member of the Thomas Circle Singers. "But I didn't realize until I got back home that it wasn't just me."
   
During the concert, in which half of the proceeds were donated to a nonprofit that helps the homeless, the choir members left their belongings in a practice room in the basement of the church. While they were singing, Laffrey says someone stole 15 of their credit cards.

"It's really disheartening to think that at this time of the year someone would do something like this," said Laffrey. "It's also a hard time of year for us to have something like this happen. When you're buying presents and getting groceries for holiday parties, you don't want to have to freeze a bank account or cancel a credit card."

Pastor Tom Omholt says the occasional purse has been stolen at his church before, but nothing like this.   

"I was shocked," said Pastor Tom Omholt with the St. Paul's Lutheran Church. 

Previous thefts have prompted the church to install security cameras. But the one thing the Pastor says he won't change is the church's open door policy.  

"The church is and needs to be a place of hospitality.  So our doors are still open for any event," said Pastor Omholt.  

The pastor says the Metropolitan Police Department is now investigating, but so far they have no suspects.   

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