Police say detectives have arrested a man in connection with the armed robbery of people who were attending a religious service on New Years Eve in Monroe.
The investigation ended Monday when police took Scottavais Lorenzo Hailey, 27, of Monroe, into custody. He was charged with five counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and is jailed in Union County under $100,000 bond.
The robbery was reported about 9 p.m. Dec. 31 at Iglesia de Dios Nueva Vida (New Life Church of God), in the 700 block of Engleside Street.
Worshipers told police a man wearing a mask and carrying a gun, possibly a shotgun, entered the church and robbed five people. In one case, according to witnesses, he pointed the gun at a womans head.
The bandit grabbed five purses, containing miscellaneous items and cash, and ran from the church. The victims estimated the man got away with nearly $900 in cash.
The pastor, Leonel Bernal, told the Observer afterwards that the event was frightening, but he added, I trusted God. God took care of us.
No injuries were reported.
Staff writer Cameron Steele contributed
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