Majestic North church targeted

| February 24, 2010

NORTH ATTLEBORO – Thieves attempted to steal copper gutters from St. Mary's Church early Tuesday morning, a week after stealing several hundred dollars worth of downspouts from Sacred Heart Church – and police say the incidents are related.

Police and Fire Chief Peter Lamb say thieves also stole a hand-held spotlight from a surplus rescue vehicle and four 36-inch spools of copper wire from behind fire headquarters on Elm Street in a related incident early Tuesday morning.

Police Chief Michael P. Gould Sr. said a beige car was seen in the area of the incidents. He appealed to the public for information regarding the thefts and attempted thefts.

The police and fire chiefs and the Rev. David Costa, pastor of St. Mary's and Sacred Heart, said tough economic times are making people more desperate.

"When you steal from a church, you're bringing it to another level and are certainly a lowlife," Gould said. Costa added: "It's unfortunate, in this day and age with the economy being so bad, that people have to stoop this low and steal things that have been on churches for years."

Referring to the recent theft of a memorial plaque stolen from outside the CCD Center at Holy Ghost Church in Attleboro and from war memorials in Attleboro, Costa said there seems to be a lack of respect.

"There is no respect for the sacred spaces and public buildings or memorials anymore," he said.

Gould said police received a call about 3:45 a.m. from a neighbor of St. Mary's Church on Park Street about two people who appeared to be breaking into the church.

When police arrived, there were no suspects in the area but they discovered several down spouts had been torn off the church and placed nearby in preparation to be taken.

"It appears they were coming back to pick up the copper gutters," Gould said.

About two hours later, police received a call from an East Street resident about two people parked near the fire station, Gould said.

A search of the area turned up no suspects but police learned the spotlight and copper wire were stolen, he said.

A witness reported two people walking in the area of East Street with either a pit bull or rottweiler around the time of the incident, Gould said.

"Anybody with knowledge about these incidents please notify the detective division," Gould said. Police can be reached at 508-695-1212.

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Category: Church Security

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