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More than $4,000 in church donations stolen from Boyle Heights parishioner

More than $4,000 in church donations stolen from Boyle Heights parishioner
Surveillance video from a robbery at the Church of Assumption in Boyle Heights.

Los Angeles police are asking for the public's help in identifying two people suspected of stealing more than $4,000 from a church in Boyle Heights.

The robbery at the Church of the Assumption took place around 11 a.m. Jan. 12 after the church's weekly money count, police said. The suspect robbed an 80-year-old parishioner leaving the church holding a canvas bag filled with about $4,100 in cash, checks and change as he walked away from the building.

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The man holding the money refused to let go of the bag, authorities said, and was dragged onto the pavement before the suspect stole the bag, fleeing the scene in a black sedan driven by another suspect.

Church security video showed the suspect loitering in the parking lot about 45 minutes before the robbery, police said. The second suspect appeared to be a lookout on the opposite side of the lot.

Police described the first suspect as a thin male in a black hat, dark jacket and light-colored pants. No description of the second suspect was available.

Last month, a hit-and-run driver struck a 70-year-old nun who worked at the church. Raquel Diaz, who was the church's director of religious education, died after she was taken to a nearby hospital and listed in critical condition.

Authorities ask that anyone with information on the robbery or the two suspects call Det. Dante Palacio at (323) 342-8900 or the LAPD's 24-hour tip line at (877) 527-3247.

For more local and breaking news, follow me on Twitter: @sarahparvini

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