The pastor said the tithe box had been emptied prior to the break-in at the church.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police are searching for a suspect who broke into a Philadelphia church and headed straight for the collection box.
It happened around 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the ENON Tabernacle Church on the 2800 block of Cheltenham Avenue in East Mount Airy.
According to police, the church notified authorities of the burglary on Monday.
Surveillance video released by police on Tuesday shows the suspect walking through the parking lot.
He then breaks through a glass door to enter the church.
The suspect heads to the main office and finds the collection or tithe box.
In their report, police said the suspect got away with $20,000 to $25,000 in cash and checks from the box.
However, in a Facebook Live video, Pastor Alyn Waller said that was not the case.
The pastor said the tithe box had been emptied prior to the break-in at the church and the church believes that the high dollar amount is not factual.
"We have every reason to believe that was not the real number because the box had been emptied," Waller said. "But what is true is that someone broke into the building...and made a beeline for (the box)."
The pastor said the suspect got away with "a small amount, if anything."
It is not clear how the $20,000 mark was determined in the initial police report.
Pastor Waller meanwhile offered to help the suspect.
"I can only imagine how hurt you are, bro, sis, that you had to break into a church and attempt to get something. Our concern is for you. Our concern is that if your life is hurting that much, we can give you more than you can ever take from us. I want you to know that if you are willing to come in, to admit, we're willing to help you," Waller said.
Pastor Waller said because of this incident the church is suspending dropping off tithes during the middle of the week and working on changing security protocols.
"We are not discouraged. We are not going to let this ruin the day or change our behavior or heart to helping people," Waller said.
The suspect was seen wearing a black coat, pants, sneakers, mask and yellow and black work gloves. He was also wearing a black backpack with "BRAND" written on the back.
Anyone with information should call police at 215-686-3353/3354.