Teens Charged in Armed Robbery of Church Collection
Two local teens were arrested Sunday after one stole from a church during its service.
The Sunday morning service for the Christ is Lord Ministry church was not a typical one. According to police reports, four church members were counting the collection during one of the services when a man entered through an unsecured door, displayed a handgun and took money from the collection before fleeing on foot and into a vehicle.
Police arrested Stephen Ernest Wing, a 19-year-old Dumfries man, and Andrew Phillip Conteh, 18, from Lorton, after an investigation showed that Wing displayed the handgun and allegedly stole money from the church before he met up with Conteh in Lorton after the robbery.
Police spokesperson Jonathan Perok said that Conteh was determined to be an accomplice in the robbery through “undisclosed means.” Police responded to the church at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, June 5 and after an extensive investigation were able to identify the two as those responsible for the robbery.
Wing was arrested at his Dumfries residence without incident after a search was executed and evidence related to the robbery was found.
Conteh was also arrested at his Lorton residence without incident.
In a press release issued by the church's pastor, Gibrilla Bangura, Wing was described as a "masked gunman."
"While we believe that God will continue to protect us and prevent a repeat of Sunday’s action, we have also taken extra security measures that will keep both church members and visitors safe while worshiping in our facilities," said Bangura in the release.
The rest of the church was not aware a robbery took place during the service. No injuries were reported.
Wing and Conteh are charged with abduction, robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.
Their court dates are unavailable and both are being held without bond.