Skinny Church Burglar Uses Crucifix For Theft

| July 2, 2010

A desperate thief broke into a Ft. Lauderdale Catholic Church last weekend, and in an act many would consider sacrilege, used a crucifix to bust into a donation box, according to Ft. Lauderdale Police.

Surveillance photos show the crook sitting with a crucifix on his lap as he attempts to open a donation box where churchgoers leave donations and say prayers.

Father Jim Daly, a visiting priest at the church, said the man pried open the box and smashed open two other donation boxes.

"It's a kind of violation of the church, it's privacy and break doors down and steal from you, and walk out as if nothing happened," Father Daly told CBS 4's Carey Codd.

Ft. Lauderdale Police said the man broke a church window last Saturday night around 9 pm. He cut himself and left a trail of blood through the church.

The crook is accused of picking up a crucifix off of the altar and using it to break open the boxes. Father Daly said it shows a desperate man who did not consider it a desecration.

"For him it was an implement to help him get the money he wanted," Father Daly said. "He thought there was money. Obviously he didn't get too much."

Longtime parishioner Frank Walker said the church has been a place of solace for many in this Ft. Lauderdale community. He called the thief's actions "desperate and sad."

"Anybody of faith would be just shocked and overwhelmed by not only the breaking and entering itself, but the use of a religious article like that, a crucifix, to do something like this," Walker said.

The irony is, according to Father Daly, that if the thief had asked the church for help, they would have given him vouchers for food, or tried to help him through Catholic Charities. Now the thief has the Ft. Lauderdale Police looking for him.

If you have any information call Crimestoppers at 954 493-TIPS. You can remain anonymous and you could be eligible for a reward.

Tags: ,

Category: Church Security

Comments are closed.