Cleveland man gets 3 years in prison for stealing from church, parishioner

| June 29, 2010

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A 63-year-old Cleveland man who stole more than $2,000 from a Catholic church collection bag and a parishioner's purse was sentenced Monday to three years in prison.

It was one of the parishioners at St. Malachi's Church near West 25th Street who caught Robert Roesky breaking the commandment against stealing.

Roesky stole the church's collection bag, which contained about $2,000, after a Mass on March 20. He returned a week later and took a coin purse out of a woman's handbag. The purse contained $30 and her credit cards, prosecutors said.

He was seated in the pew behind the woman and reached into her bag, which was behind her. Another woman witnessed the theft and grabbed his arm but couldn't hang on.

The witness then yelled about the theft and several men caught Roesky, returned the victim's belongings and called police.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors charged him with burglary and aggravated theft. He took a deal on May 21, pleading guilty to theft and burglary.

Common Pleas Judge David Matia ordered Roesky to pay $2,000 in restitution to St. Malachi's in addition to serving the three-year prison sentence.

Roesky's criminal history dates back at least to a burglary conviction in 1982, according to court records. He has since been convicted of theft, aggravated robbery and drug possession.

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Category: Church Security

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