Elderly woman robbed, attacked inside Sanford church

- Brenda Yancy is accused of robbing and attacking an elderly woman inside a Sanford church. “For us, this is an incident that is concerning on so many levels,” said Sanford Police Public Information Officer Bianca Gillett. “We have an elderly female that was physically attacked in a church, which is a place of sanctuary and a place people feel safe. “

Police say officers were called to the Rescue Outreach Mission Church on Historic Goldsboro Blvd. Sunday morning just after the 76-year-old victim came in to get the sanctuary ready for services. “She walked into the church, placed her purse on a pew, in the back of the church, stepped out of the room and came back into the room and found the suspect hovering over her purse and holding her wallet,” Gillett explained.

FOX 35 obtained the 911 call from that morning. In it, the victim tells dispatch, “When I came back she was sitting there with my wallet in her hand and was taking my money out of my wallet and I said no, ‘You’re not going to do this, this time. You took my money the last time.’ And she started flailing at me with her fists and she kicked on my knee with her boot.”

In the call, the victim claims Yancy has stolen from her before. Police say Yancy took off after the confrontation but officers caught up with her a few blocks away.

In court Monday, she told a judge that she’s homeless and can’t afford an attorney. She likely could have gotten help right across the street from where everything happened, at rescue outreach mission.

“We actually provide shelter, food and case management services to homeless individuals,” said executive director Gina Creighton.

Yancy is facing robbery, battery, and drug paraphernalia charges. 

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