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Woman, 54, arrested on suspicion of stealing from church donation bin in Lakeland

Annie Southerland accused of stealing donated clothes from Catholic church

Annie Southerland, 54
Annie Southerland, 54

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A woman in Polk County was arrested after she was seen on surveillance video stealing from a Catholic church in Lakeland.

Annie Southerland, 54, was arrested on Thursday for burglary and grand theft after deputies say she was caught on video surveillance stealing donated clothes from the Saint Anthony Church on 820 Marcum Road, deputies said.

"Ms. Southerland could have simply asked the church for some clothes if she wasn't able to afford any. That's why people donate to churches - to help those who are less fortunate," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. 

Surveillance video shows Southerland driving to the back of the church on May 14 and June 3 taking bags of donated clothes out of the donation box, deputies said.

Deputies said the church alerted them of the thefts and ran the partial handicapped tag number seen on the surveillance videos of the incidents.

Southerland is being held on $1,500 bond in Polk County.

Deputies said that Southerland has been arrested in the past on meth and marijuana charges.