SANFORD, Fla. – The Sanford Police Department responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Iglesia Vida Nuvea Church just before 10 a.m. Saturday.
The victim, who was a clergyman at the church, told officers that as he opened the front doors to the church, he was confronted by a black man holding a black handgun, according to the police report. The gun may have been a semi-automatic handgun, according to the police report.
Police said the man pointed the gun at the victim as he demanded his phone and wallet.
The victim said he tried to fight off the man, but the man pistol whipped him and was able to take the victim's cellphone and wallet before fleeing in an unknown direction.
The armed black man was described to be possibly in his 20s, wearing khaki pants, a gray hooded sweatshirt and a dark colored ski hat or beanie, according to the report. He was captured on video on the church steps just before the victim walked out.
Posted by Sanford Police Department on Saturday, December 31, 2016
Sanford police said they will continue looking for the individual responsible for the recent armed robberies, and that they will increase patrols in the Historic District ensure the community is safe.
"The safety and protection of our residents is always our greatest concern. We will continue to actively seek this individual who so brazenly attacked a clergyman on the steps of his church," Chief Cecil Smith said.
Police have asked anyone with information to call Crimeline at 800-423-8477.
They have also asked community members to remain vigilant and stay aware of their surroundings for their personal safety.