Police on Thursday arrested a woman they say choked a 69-year-old nun, breaking a cross that was around the nun's neck, during a robbery at a Catholic school.

Emmie Jo Lowery, 35, is charged with felony robbery and grand theft of a motor vehicle and was being held at a Franklin County jail.

According to police, Lowery entered the St. Matthias School on Nov. 21 and asked to use a phone. A nun told detectives she later saw Lowery stealing a purse from an unlocked classroom and confronted her. Lowery choked the nun, breaking a crucifix around her neck, and fled, police said.

Acting on a tip, police said they arrested Lowery in a stolen car outside an apartment complex.

Sheriff's Deputy Shannon Beaudry said Thursday night the jail didn't have information on whether Lowery had an attorney.