By Associated Press - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A Virginia church volunteer accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the weekly collection has been arrested.

News outlets report 53-year-old Sandra Irene Cortes was charged with three counts of grand larceny Sunday. Authorities say Cortes was a volunteer at the Queen of Apostles Church in Alexandria and took money from the church collection while counting it.

A church employee told police the church suspected that Cortes had been stealing offerings. Detectives then set up a surveillance operation and spotted her taking money from the collection plate.

Fairfax County police spokeswoman Courtney Young says police are working to determine how many times Cortes might have taken money from the church.

It’s unclear if Cortes has a lawyer.

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