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Churchgoers Catch Purse Snatcher During Service

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ODESSA (AP) – Some worshippers at a West Texas church have been credited with chasing and catching two suspects after a purse was snatched during the service.

Odessa police say one of the fleeing men allegedly pulled a knife but nobody was hurt after the robbery Sunday at Sherwood Baptist Church.

Ector County jail records show Nicholas Alexander Kempf was being held Wednesday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Online jail records don’t list an attorney for Kempf, whose bond was $100,000. Timothy Ray Yanaga was charged with misdemeanor theft and released on $500 bond.

Odessa police say the pair apparently were in the last pew when Yanaga allegedly grabbed the purse.

The bag has been returned intact to the woman.

Pastor Ivy Shelton says security will be increased.

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