'Gunman' holds up church

May 24, 1993

A man pretending to have a handgun burst into a church service on Baltimore's west side yesterday morning, announced a holdup to the congregation and stole a gold wristwatch from the pastor, the Rev. Joseph Watkins, police said.

Police said the man then ran from the First Mount Calvary Baptist Church, in the 1100 block of N. Fulton Ave., and robbed Avon Thornton of $140 on the street. No arrests were made.

Police said the robber walked into the church minutes before 10 a.m., approached the altar and yelled that he would "shoot the place up." The man pretended to have a gun by wrapping a plastic bag around his hand, according to a report of the incident.

After taking the watch, the man left and robbed Mr. Thornton, police said.

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