HOUSTON – A suspect seemed to have ignored the “Thou shall not steal” commandment when he stole a woman’s credit cards as she was praying in the chapel of St. Vincent DePaul Catholic church -- and then went on a shopping spree, according to court records.
“I went to the altar to light a candle, and when I turned around, I heard the door open and close but I did not look to see who it was entering the chapel. So when I finally lit the candle, I turned around and my purse was gone,” said Jane Knapp.
Brian Keith Wilson, 56, has been charged with credit/debit card abuse from the March 31 incident.
According to court records, the woman, who was about 65 years old, went to light a candle at the front of the chapel and pray, and when she returned to the pew where she was sitting, she noticed that her purse was missing. She was then allegedly informed by her bank that her credit card was charged for $96.91 at a Wal-Mart located at 2391 S. Wayside Dr.
A witness, who is employed at the church, told investigators that he knew Wilson and stated that he comes around the church often and asks for money from church members, according to court records. The witness provided a video from an indoor camera of Wilson stealing the woman’s purse out of the chapel while she was lighting the candle. Although the video shows the suspect wearing a mask, investigators were able to identify him through clothing.
“The camera caught him on the inside of the church grabbing the purse and then leaving,” said Knapp.
According to documents, investigators retrieved still photos from the Wal-Mart where the purchase was made and showed Wilson wearing the same clothing at the time of the incident at the church.
”It’s hurtful, you know. And you think, why? Why me? Why did this happen? What did I do wrong? And in today’s society, it seems like you can’t carry a purse anywhere, it doesn’t matter where you are,” said Knapp.
An arrest warrant for Wilson has been issued.
Records also show that Wilson has a long criminal history involving theft, auto theft and robbery.