STONEHAM (CBS) – Police are looking or the man accused of stealing donations from a church in Stoneham.
“It’s an unfortunate situation because the poor gentleman is in need,” said Father Mario Orrigo of St. Patrick’s.
An employee snapped a picture of the man suspected of stealing repeatedly from St. Patrick’s Church in Stoneham; Forcing open several donation boxes, and taking off with the cash inside.
“One of our facilities people managed to take his picture as he was fleeing from the church after breaking into the box,” said Orrigo. “That money goes to people who are in immediate need. They don’t have food or need emergency assistance.”
Church leaders believe the thefts are a reflection of the man’s own desperate needs and that’s something that weighs on the people of St. Patrick’s.
“She said I wish I had known,” Orrigo said. “I would’ve just helped the guy. That’s what our faith calls us to do. To be there for each other.”
Like most churches, the doors remain open from early morning until late at night. As they look for other ways to protect parishioners and the attached school, their message to the suspect is forgiving.
“You don’t have to steal,” Orrigo said. “If you come and talk to us we will try to help you. I also have a responsibility as pastor to protect what’s here for the people. I don’t know if this is the last time he’d do it unless he’s stopped.”
The witness believes the suspect rode away on a burgundy bicycle. If you recognize him, you’re asked to contact Stoneham Police or St. Patrick’s.