Church Thefts

Title: South Florida Church Burglarized
October 22, 2012

Abstract: An unholy act was discovered at a South Florida church.

Burglars broke into the Missionary Evangelist Baptist Church near Northwest 95th Street and 18th Avenue over the weekend.

The thieves ransacked the offices and stole about $3,000 worth of sound equipment. "For you to break into God's house," said Deacon David Mortimor, "and to steal God's stuff and think it's OK, but it's not."

Mortimor asked those responsible to correct their behavior by returning the equipment. "If you bring it back, OK, it's done, repent for your sins. God says forgive, that's what we do. We have to forgive you regardless."

This is the church's second burglary in the last three months.

If you have any information on this burglary, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward (WSVN News, 2012).

Title: Police: Man Caught In Act Stealing Copper From Church
October 24, 2012
My Fox Philly

A man has been caught trying to steal copper pipes from a church in Center City, police say. It happened just after 4 a.m. Wednesday at Saint Mark's Church in the area of 16th and Locust streets. Police found the suspect pretending to sleep on a nearby bench. They say they found three copper pipes on him (My Fox Philly, 2012).

Title: Pennsylvania Man Reportedly Charged With Stealing $1.50 From Church
November 29, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: A Pennsylvania man could reportedly face trial for breaking into a church and stealing $1.50 in change.

The Centre Daily Times reports that Jason Stover, 31, waived a preliminary hearing Wednesday on charges that he forced his way into the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in State College on Nov. 15.

Once inside, Stover rummaged through drawers and moved items in the church, ultimately taking $1.50 in quarters from a coin jar that was being collected by the church to donate to charity, according to a criminal complaint.

Stover was later charged with felony counts of burglary and criminal trespass. Stover was also charged with misdemeanor counts of institutional vandalism, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Hundreds Of Donated Gifts Stolen From Shrewsbury Church
December 5, 2012
CBS Boston

Abstract: Thousands of dollars in Christmas presents and gift cards have been stolen from the St. Anne’s Parish shed on Boston Turnpike in Shrewsbury.

Someone kicked in the door to the storage unit behind the church sometime Monday or Tuesday. The thief made off with gifts collected for the Giving Tree, a project that supplies gifts for hundreds of poor children.

“These were items saved all year long for these children. That’s what hurts,” said Elaine LeBlanc, the church’s Volunteer Coordinator.

LeBlanc says the church would have given the thief anything he or she needed, if only they had been asked.

“I feel very bad for them, that they think they have to scavenge for whatever their problem is,” said LeBlanc.

The shed was full after presents were dropped off at the altar over the weekend. Church volunteers moved the gifts to the storage shed for safe keeping.

“Gift cards, toys, clothes, the children have requested and we tried to fill their requests. Many of those toys are all gone,” Rev. John Foley said.

The church is planning to increase security and revamping their efforts to collect presents for families in the area.

Shrewsbury Police are asking anyone who donated a gift card to the effort, and used a credit card to pay for it, to give them a call.

They hope to use the information to try to track the thief.

As for as the kids, Hasbro has stepped up and is offering to replace all of the stolen items (CBS Boston, 2012).

Title: Two Arrested For Stealing Hurricane Sandy Relief Supplies From Church
January 26, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: A pair of heartless fiends were arrested yesterday after they were caught stealing donated supplies for Hurricane Sandy victims from a church, The New York Post reported. 

Edwin Rios, 46, of Arden Heights, and William Banks, 43, of St. George, were nabbed at the Christian Pentecostal Church early Friday trying to put 35 cases of bottled water into a rented truck.

“When you see creeps like this, it bothers me. If you need it, come get it, but when you take stuff like this it’s like stealing from God,” Pastor Dr. John Rocco Carlo told the Staten Island Advance.

Carlo, a retired NYPD detective, said the thefts began before Thanksgiving, and he reached out to police. The church has been a lifeline for Sandy victims still in need of help.

“I’m glad they caught two of the guys. But to me it looks like a gang, you don’t just operate like this with a couple of people,” Carlo surmised.

The thieves had been hoisting themselves over walls to get into the locked parking lot where the supplies were stored and making off with blankets, diapers, cleaning supplies and other items.

The NYPD set up a sting operation, leaving the parking lot gate open.

Rios and Banks were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, petty larceny and criminal trespass (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Organ, Pipes Stolen From Pittsburgh Church
March 2, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: Officials at a Roman Catholic church in Pittsburgh have a holy mystery on their hands. They say someone, somehow stole the building's organ -- and the 200 massive pipes required to play it.

WPXI-TV reported Friday that the music equipment worth $200,000 has disappeared from St. Justin's Church.

Church business manager Skip Hary says he's baffled how anyone could get the organ out of the building.

He says it would either have to be maneuvered down narrow flights of steps, or lowered over a balcony. And the pipes can only be accessed by a ladder into the ceiling.

St. Justin's, in the city's Mount Washington neighborhood, closed last month after merging with another church.

Police say there were no signs of forced entry (Fox News, 2013).