Person caught in Green Bay church

| August 3, 2010

GREEN BAY – A 19-year-old Green Bay man was arrested early Tuesday morning at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, police said.

Police were quickly able to respond to the church because they had plainclothes officers in the area due to a recent string of church break-ins. The man is considered a person of interest in those crimes.

Around 2 a.m., an interior motion alarm went off in the church at 140 S. Monroe Ave. Police set up a perimeter around the church as they waited for a K9 unit to arrive. One of the officers noticed a second-story window was open and the screen was cut. A group of officers went inside to investigate. Meanwhile, officers outside the church saw a window open and a person try to get out. That person then went back inside. Police found him a little while later hiding in a closet.

Fr. John Girotti with St. Francis says the church added the security system since the break-ins started. Girotti calls the arrest a relief for everyone at the church.

''We want people to come to our church to pray, p-r-a-y, not prey, p-r-e-y.'' said Girotti. "All are welcomed to come but not to damage what we hold so dear."

While police records show this as the 11th burglary and attempted burglary at six Green Bay churches (and this as the second incident at St. Francis) since May, Girotti says the cathedral has been broken into about five times in the last several months.

Girotti says the suspect was targeting cash drop boxes and never got away with more than a few dollars from St. Francis.

Police are still processing the scene of the crime. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (920) 448-3208 or Crimestoppers at (920) 432-7867.

Cameron Clark will have more on this story on FOX 11 News at Five.

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Category: Church Security