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New York City churches beset by burglar, $5K stolen and more in damages


St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jamaica, NY/Facebook | DCPI

J-P Mauro - published on 09/07/19

While the suspect's identity is still unknown, closed circuit footage has a good look at his face.

Congregations of Queens and Brooklyn, New York, are still reeling after a serial thief pillaged at least 6 parishes and surrounding businesses. The break-ins took place from August 4 to the 28, during which time the suspect made off with an estimated $5,000 in cash and electronics.

Gabrielle Fonrouge of The New York Post reports that the robberies began with a printing supply store, Victory Factory, on August 4, which saw $400 removed from the register. Less than a week later, the thief turned his efforts towards the Catholic Church of St. Sylvester in Brooklyn, where he was able to wrest about $1,000 from the collection boxes.

ABC News reports that after his success at St. Sylvester’s, the following locations were hit:

-St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Queens. $2,500 DVR system stolen -Epiphany Mar Thoma Church, Queens. $1,000 in damage trying unsuccessfully to open the collection boxes -Holy Child Jesus Church, Queens -Keys of the Kingdom Pentecostal Holiness Church, Queens -St. Benedict Joseph Labre Church, Queens

During the spree, the unidentified thief took a night off from churches in order to break into the Theatre Street School, also in Queens. After robbing two more parishes, he ended his run by breaking into the Victory Factory again, where he was only able to make off with $25 in coins before approaching authorities caused him to flee.

While police have yet to identify the suspect, he was caught on security footage, which shows him donning an orange vest. Police believe the man may have been posing as a road worker as a cover for his escapes. The CC images were taken at St. Joseph’s Church, where ABC notes that the thief rang the rectory bell to see if anyone was home.

The New York Police Department asks anyone who recognizes the man to step forward. Any information as to the identity of the suspect can be directed to the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). For Spanish, call 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

ChurchNew York
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