Arrests made in Church Armed Robbery - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Arrests made in Church Armed Robbery

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

CAMILLA,  GA (WALB) - Two men are in jail charged with robbing three deacons at gunpoint behind their own church.

It happened at First Baptist Church in Camilla last month. This was a bold crime,  in a parking lot that is pretty well lit.

Thankfully no one was hurt, everything the robbers took was easily replaceable with the exception of a couple hundred dollars in cash.

But it raises the question, is anywhere safe anymore?

It's supposed to be a safe haven.

"They could have pulled the trigger," said robbery victim Andy Collins.

But on the night of September 9th, the sanctity of the First Baptist Church of Camilla was jeopardized when police say 24-year-old Travis Donaldson and 21-year-old Corry Hallman robbed three men at gunpoint.

"It's just awful because these are people that were come out of a church for heavens sake," said Camilla worker Carrie Coons.

Andy Collins and two of his fellow deacons had just wrapped up a deacon's meeting that Sunday, when their night went from holy to downright scary.

"We eventually made it to the parking lot and noticed two guys walk through, we didn't think anything of it because it's not unusual for people to take a shortcut," said Collins.

But it was no shortcut, these men had a plan.

"They obviously circled around the fellowship hall and came out between that building and the playground. The one with the gun pointed it saying we want what's in your pockets, put your billfolds and cell phones on the ground," said Collins.

Thursday afternoon, nearly a month after the frightening experience, the thieves were caught.

"It's good to know they got the two guys because obviously if they do it once they'll do it a second time," said Collins.

Collins says he's not angry at his robbers, just thankful to be alive and well. Others who heard about what happened, aren't as forgiving.

"I mean it's the house of the Lord. What kind of world are we living in where you can't even go to church and come out and feel safe," said Coons.

"It's sad, it makes you apprehensive, it frightens you. Give you a sense that someone could come to my door, ya know, do I need to arm myself?" said Camilla resident Charles Richardson.

During a time when even God's parking lot is vunerable, many people are answering yes.

One of the suspects, Corry Hallman actually confessed to the robbery. Andy Collins says his church has since had several discussions about increasing security there...possibly putting in security cameras.

Less than two weeks after the robbery at First Baptist a preacher was robbed in the parking lot of Lighthouse Community Church near Pelham.

No arrests have been made in that case.


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