(WHAS11) -- A Louisville couple was caught in the act and charged with stealing from several local churches.
The pastor at Faith Community Church says he confronted the woman who stole his wallet. She tried to blame it on her toddler.
Pastor Richard Pearson says he was in the right place at the right time. He was about to give a sermon at his East End church.
"I was personally taken aback a little bit. Is this really going on?" Pearson said.
Pastor Pearson happened to walk through the door when a 3-year-old girl and her mother grabbed his wallet off a desk.
They made it past the office door that says "blessings" but he caught 26-year-old Kimberly Mills.
"... with billfold in hand and her daughter was standing right there," Pearson said.
Stunned, all he could say was...
"What can I do for you and why do you have my wallet and then she gives it to her little girl and said oh she had picked it up off of your desk," Pearson said.
Here's the twist
"I did recognize her," Pearson said.
Pearson says Mills visited Faith Community Church months ago. He helped her out with a gift card.
This time, she ran out the door at the 14000 block of Shelbyville Road and hopped into a getaway car with the girl's father, 26-year-old Allen Hamilton.
"As soon as I saw them zipping out, I memorized the license plate," Pearson said.
It was a blessing, because Pearson is a cyclist with a knack for remembering details about cars.
LMPD says a total of six churches were targeted in the Louisville area. That includes Buechel Baptist Park Church where Mills asked for rental assistance and food.
Court records state she ended up stealing a church worker's purse and charging $700 at Kroger and Walgreen's.
The motive? The parents told police they were feeding a drug habit.
Dwight Mitchell, with LMPD, said, "Heroin is on the rise again and unfortunately we have individuals that are addicted to it that will do just about anything."
But Pearson hopes this begins the road to recovery.
"What my prayer is and all of our prayers is, is that through this encounter that maybe there can be some help and accountability," Pearson said.
The couple faces charges of burglary and unlawful transaction with a minor.
They have criminal records in Shelby County. Mills has a felony charge and according to court records it stems from forging checks or payments.
In the end, Pastor Pearson had his credit cards and $183 returned after Mills confessed.