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Woman Claiming To Be From A Church Steals Cash From Homeowner's Wallet

DALLAS (CBS11) - A Dallas man said a Bible-carrying scammer stole from him in his own home.

Robb Conover said the stranger came to his Dallas home claiming to be from a church and took money from his wallet when he wasn't looking.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Conover says a woman knocked on his front door.

"(She was) dressed in a dark pant and a black coat with a shawl over, and she had a notebook and a Bible in her hand," said Conover.

Conover says the Bible put him at ease and he let her walk inside his house. Conover, who says he's a struggling artist, can barely walk and spends most of his time in a wheelchair. The woman told him she was from a Catholic church and offered to bring him a Christmas Eve ham and other prepared food in exchange for a $2 donation. She claimed it was her church's outreach for the sick and homebound.

"I pulled out the $5 to give her and she refused the $5 (bill)," he said. "She said 'I can't take that. That's too much.'"

Conover gave her $2 and the two began to chat. He says she knew his name and that he has a roommate. In Conover's mind, that added legitimacy to her claims she was from a church. He says he left his wallet unattended while he showed her artwork in his home. After she left, he was going to put the $5 bill away the woman had refused to take back in his wallet. That's when he noticed $235 from his wallet was missing.

money stolen out of wallet
money stolen out of wallet (CBS11)

"The very second she left, we noticed it was gone, and we ran out the door after her and she had disappeared already," said Conover.

Other charitable organizations, like the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Worth, have warned about scammers in recent days.

"Our members do not raise money door to door," reads its tweet. "If you are approached for money door to door for the Boys & Girls or any of our branches, please assume this is not being done on behalf of our organization and is likely a scam."

The Dallas Police Department, investigating Conover's claims as a theft, add that it's illegal for charitable organizations to show up to your house to ask for money.

"These organizations are aware of this and they will not violate this solicitation law," said a police spokeswoman. "Challenge the individual by asking for credentials indicating they are with the organization and then call the organization to verify."

Police add that you should not allow them inside your house.

"I think people just prey... on the weak, on people who have needs at Christmastime," said Conover.

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