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Entries in Serita Agnew (2)

Wednesday
Dec292010

Victim of Pastor's Alleged Christmas Eve Burglary Speaks

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(DALLAS) -- The Dallas woman whose fur coats, purses and laptop equipment were allegedly stolen by her pastor on Christmas Eve said she is devastated but her faith unshaken.

"I was in disbelief," Serita Agnew said. "Being a person of faith, I've come to believe that we are presented with challenges in our life and I believe that all of those challenges are tailor-designed for us...to bring us closer to God."

Sandy McGriff, pastor of the Church of the Living God, is accused of climbing through Agnew's window on Christmas Eve. Agnew and McGriff were long-time friends and, Agnew said, McGriff called her shortly before $10,000 worth of Agnew's clothing and personal items were stolen.

"She had contacted me approximately half an hour before I got a phone call from the Dallas Police Department," Agnew said. "She absolutely knew that I wasn't going to be home. She asked me if I was with my family."

A neighbor spotted the pastor breaking a window and then allegedly taking the loot out to her car. He called police.

"This white bucket, she grab it, she step in here, and she went inside the house," neighbor David Nanez said.

Nanez told the Dallas Morning News that McGriff originally waved at him, before taking the loot.

McGriff, 52, has a very different story.

The pastor did not immediately respond to messages left by ABCNews.com, but she told ABC News' Dallas affiliate WFAA that she was checking on Agnew's house when she caught two men breaking in.

"I'm not a burglar," she said. "My biggest mistake was going through the window."

McGriff said she was in the neighborhood to pick up a peach cobbler when something told her to go by Agnew's house. She said she spotted what looked like two burglars nearby. So she broke into the home to protect the woman's belongings in case the men came back, she said.

"I went to her bedroom, I got the laptop, on the way out the coats were right there and I just grabbed everything at once," she told the Dallas Morning News.

Asked why she didn't just call the police rather than climb through the window, McGriff told WFAA, "My mistake, I should have."

McGriff, surrounded by nine of her own fur coats, defended herself to the Dallas Morning News, saying that she doesn't "stand in need of anything."

Adding that she had a carload of groceries when she was arrested, McGriff told the paper, "I don't know of a burglar that's going to go shopping for groceries and then go commit a burglary."

"I thought I was helping," McGriff said.

Dallas police said McGriff was not only caught with Agnew's possessions but gave a different name at the time of her arrest.

McGriff gave cops the name "Kathy Robinson," one of a dozen aliases she has been known to use, according to Dallas Police Public Information Officer Kevin Janse. McGriff has an extensive criminal record that includes theft and a prostitution conviction from the 1970s, according to public records. ´╗┐

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec282010

Pastor Accused of Robbing Parishioner's Home of Luxury Goods

Pastor Sandy McGriff. Photo Courtesy - ABC News/WFAA-TV(DALLAS) -- A Dallas pastor who is accused of climbing through a window to steal fur coats and purses from her parishioner's home on Christmas Eve claims she was just trying to protect the property from burglars.

Sandy McGriff, 52, was apprehended by Dallas police in the afternoon on Christmas Eve when she was spotted stuffing items belonging to Serita Agnew, a parishioner at the The Church of the Living God where McGriff is the pastor.

McGriff told ABC’s Dallas affiliate WFAA that she was checking on Agnew's house when she caught two men breaking in. Asked why she didn't just call the police rather than climbing through the window, McGriff told WFAA, "My mistake, I should have."

But police say that McGriff was not only caught with $12,000 worth of Agnew's possessions, but also gave a different name at the time of her arrest, which she then tried to evade. According to public records, McGriff has an extensive criminal record that includes theft and a prostitution conviction from the 1970s,

"She was caught by patrol officers breaking into a residence and a neighbor had called and said that there was a suspicious vehicle in Agnew's driveway," said Dallas Police Public Information Officer Kevin Janse. "When officers pulled up [McGriff] was walking out the back door with property in her hands."

"McGriff said the homeowner, who was a friend of hers, allowed her to go inside to get the property, but when officers contacted the homeowner she said she had not permitted anyone to enter her home," he said.

McGriff is charged with burglary and resisting arrest and transport, according to Janse -- charges that could put her in prison for as many as 20 years, if convicted.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐







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