He slipped in and out of the church, but his movements were caught on camera.

This was how the staff at Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church identified the culprit behind the case of the missing handbag on Jan 4.

The church's facility manager, who wanted to be known only as Mr Soh, told The New Paper that closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras had captured serial thief Michael Neo Eng Keong entering the church last month.

"We had the description from our church member that he was big and very tall. So we looked at our footage and we identified him," Mr Soh said.


He said the church has since informed its ushers and caretakers to be more vigilant, though he admitted that it would be difficult to monitor everyone's belongings.

He said that Neo was not the first to commit theft at the church.

"We have a large congregation and the hall is large. That's why we always advise worshippers to take their belongings everywhere and not leave it on the pews, even during service.

"But in any case, we have cameras at the entrance that will capture your face. You cannot run because we can always trace you," he said.