Kumba(National Times)-A gang of thieves has staged a failed attempt to rob the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC) Kumba-Mbeng congregation of FCFA 25 million raised as part of this year’s traditional harvest thanksgiving ritual.
The National Times has learnt that on Sunday, November 4, 2018, the thieves surfaced at the Church Service like ordinary church members occupying strategic positions in Church. A source within the congregation disclosed to The National Times on condition of anonymity that the authors of the attack engaged unsuccessful moves to materialise their plan.
Our source said as the Service rumbled off at 7:30AM that Sunday, the gang had outlined a plan on how to loot the money and escape.
Three members of the gang were said to be in the hall, one was outside the esplanade of the Church building and another across the fence while a commercial biker had been placed on standby to receive the money and escape.
The National Times gleaned that while the Service was going on, one of the thieves visited the vestry and other reserved areas of the Pastor’s Secretariat claiming to be seeking for information relating to the modalities of the harvest thanksgiving.
As the suspect returned to the Church Service after probably observing the Pastor’s Office, one of his accomplices outside moved towards a member of the Christian Youth Fellowship (CYF). The CYF member was breastfeeding her child when suddenly, the member of the gang seized her phone after requesting in vain to get it peacefully.
It is the breastfeeding member who alerted a church brother and others on the yard to go after the said thieve. As the members outside shouted ‘thieve thieve’, security elements on standby at the church compound went into action.
Four of the members of the gang were apprehended on the church compound as they attempted to escape. The National Time learnt that the Pastor of the congregation, Reverend Lamson, came out smartly and pleaded with the officers on duty no to open fire.
Before now, the FCFA 25 million raised during the Church Service had already been taken to the bank. Our source said the Pastor and Congregation Chairperson had announced unknowingly that the money had been directed to where it should be and no one should waste their energy to attack the church authorities in search of the money.
In the meantime, security forces have expanded investigation into the incident. It is suspected that the hoodlums must have an insider within the church that feeds them on the goings on. Some of the thieves were said to be in possession of pistols.
The drama is said to have unfolded outside the church hall with most of the congregants not knowing what was going on our source said. Our narrator averred that though many suspected the commotion outside the church hall, the issue was downplayed to avoid creating panic among church members given that security elements had gotten hold of the suspects.PCC Kumba-Mbeng is not new to raising such huge amounts of money during harvest thanksgiving.