A New Hampshire man was arrested over the weekend after he allegedly stole an 87-year-old woman's purse from a church pew as she was standing during the service.
Steve Doiron, 27, of Manchester, is charged with theft by unauthorized taking. He appeared in court on Monday morning. Bail information was not immediately available.
According to police, the victim was attending church services at the First Congressional Church at 508 Union St. a week ago - on Sunday, July 12 - when her purse was stolen. She told police that an unknown man entered the church midway through the service and took a seat in the last row, directly behind her. Two witnesses said they then saw the man reach over the pew and remove the victim's purse.
The two witnesses followed the man downstairs to the church basement and confronted him, but he fled on foot without the purse. The purse was recovered in a bathroom stall, but the victim's house keys, car keys and cash were missing.
Manchester Alderman Patrick Long was at the church service and followed the man outside. He was able to briefly detain him before the man got away.
Police were ultimately able to identify the perpetrator as Doiron, and he was taken into custody at his apartment on Lake Avenue on Sunday, July 19.