DERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — A woman is accused of stealing some $20,000 from a local church where she used to work.
According to investigators, 35-year-old Teri Sauers of New Alexandria was the treasurer at Derry Presbyterian Church for some time. That’s when she allegedly stole money from the congregation to pay for bills. Whether it was out of need or greed, she now faces serious theft charges.
Westmoreland County detectives say they were first notified of the missing money by staff members at Derry Presbyterian. The staff noticed funds were missing from the church’s account when they went to write a check to purchase a new boiler for the building and found they were short on money that was supposed to be there.
After looking at the books, detectives say they found several $1,000 gone. The investigation quickly led to Sauers, who had been a treasurer for the church. According to court records, Sauers allegedly misappropriated some $25,000 over an 18-month period.
As to why Sauers allegedly took the money, detectives say the former treasurer told them it was for personal use because “finances were tight” and she “needed the money to pay bills.” When confronted with the evidence, detectives say Sauers told them she was sorry for stealing the money and was sick about it.
Sauers has reportedly paid some $14,850 back to the church since. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 8, where she faces multiple felony theft counts.
KDKA has reached out to both Sauers and church officials for comment and is awaiting their response.