GUILDERLAND, N.Y. -- Guilderland police say 28-year-old Shaun Engel went into the Lynnwood Reformed Church's coat room during Easter services, stealing car keys and someone's wallet. They're calling it a crime of opportunity, but those at the church hope it can serve as a lesson in forgiveness.
On Easter Sunday, 200 people filled the church pews. It wasn't until after services and fellowship were over that the parishioner discovered their belongings were missing.
While pastors say the theft feels like an invasion of privacy, they say they aren't upset.
"The church is a place that is messy and beautiful. Everyone who comes here is welcome, and no one who comes here is perfect," says Stacey Duensing, pastor at Lynnwood Reformed Church.
Those at Lynnwood say they hope to reach out to Engel if he is convicted, reiterating that everyone is allowed at their church.