A yet-to-be-identified woman has reportedly stolen a baby boy at the Ibah Pope Catholic Church, Awada Onitsha, Anambra State.

A witness, who said the stolen baby was a year and six months old.

The source said, “The boy is my brother’s son. His name is Chibueze Ezechukwu. He is one year and six months old. He and his parents live in Onitsha.

“On Sunday, they went to the Ibah Pope Catholic Church, Awada Onitsha. During the offertory, a woman gave money to my brother’s housemaid, who carried the baby, to go and drop in the offertory box on her behalf and asked to keep the baby on behalf of the maid.

“When my brother’s housemaid came back, she didn’t see the woman and the baby. She started looking for them and up till now, we have not been able to find them.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, confirmed the incident to our correspondent.

While describing the incident as an emerging criminal trend in the state, Mohammed advised members of the public to “be wary of this new pattern of child stealing and report suspicious persons to the nearest police station for prompt action.”

“The complainant alleged that during offertory, the housemaid handed over his son to a yet-to-be-identified lady, who sat beside her and who gave her the sum of N100 as offering.

“However, by the time the housemaid came back from the altar to her seat, she discovered that the lady had disappeared with the child and was nowhere to be found.” He concluded.

The PPRO also advised religious leaders to take adequate security measures in their places of worship in order to avert such an ugly trend.

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