Roseville police said that the theft occurred at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Vine Avenue during a weekend service. Officers arrested Derek Timothy Valdez, 22, (pictured) of Roseville on suspicion of burglary (entering the church with intent to steal) and possessing stolen property.
Police said the church had recently experienced two similar thefts. Witnesses saw a man take the woman's unattended purse from a pew while she went to the front of the sanctuary for communion.
Witnesses called police and followed the thief, who rode away on a bicycle. Officers said they found Valdez trying to hide in a store in the 1900 block of Douglas Boulevard.
Credit cards and other items from the victim's purse were recovered.