New Precautions In Place After Church Robbery – Feb 5, 2006
by Sharon Lee

BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) ? A month after a gunman entered a church during a Sunday night service and staged a robbery in Bel Air, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office is asking places of worship to take extra precautions.

Congregants at the Mount Zion United Methodist Church are still reeling after the brazen robbery took place on new year’s night, with fresh memories of the gunman ordering them to give him their purses and wallets while pointing his gun at children.

“This is confirmation why we do what we do,” Rev. Craig McLaughlin tells WJZ’s Sharon Lee. “That we lift up Jesus–a world without Jesus ends up with people pointing guns at little children.”

The church robbery was the first of its kind in Harford County, and residents were outraged that such a crime could occur.

“We here at the sheriff’s office have taken this crime very seriously,” says Bob Thomas of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

Police met with the congregation about two weeks ago and gave them guidelines outlining different measures they can take to better secure the church.

“We’re not suggesting that we want to turn a place of worship into a penal colony,” says Thomas. “But we are saying
that you need to be cognizant that times have changed.”

Despite many suggestions, Mt. Zion will only lock back doors and add cameras which they had long planned.

See the story and video here

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