Trio of church robberies in NJ

March 7, 2011 2:41:22 PM PST
Police in Hamilton Township are looking for some kind of guidance, divine or otherwise, in their efforts to catch the bandits who have now robbed three churches.

The trio of church robberies started on February 2nd at St. Raphael's when a man in a dark jacket and glasses, seen on surveillance video, entered the church.

Instead of making an offering and lighting a candle, he cleared out the collection box, getting away with $200.

"Somebody who may not have any idea, all of a sudden they see this video and say, 'hey, I know him, he walks down this street every day or I see him come in the store every day.' So we're just hoping that somebody might recognize this guy and give us a call," Hamilton Township Police Lt. Remo DiPaolo said.

Fast forward to February 20th.

That's when someone went behind the altar at Holy Angels Church and stole $150 from the collection plate. That same day, St. Vincent DePaul's Church was hit when a collection box with up to $1,200 was lifted right in the middle of mass.

"Snatched it and made his move. I believe [while the church was full of people] because Fr. Rogatis was there and began immediately to search for it and said what happened?" Father Stan Kryzston said.

Of course, robbing anyone is wrong, but people are highly offended that someone would come in to a house of worship and steal right out of the collection box.

"We're living in a crazy world, we are. People have no ethics, no morality," Vicky Zadworny of Trenton said.

"It seems like it's offending God when you do that. It's offending God. You just feel badly about it," Nancy Brokofsky of Hamilton Township said.

The owner of a pet store across the street from Holy Angels Church says he has also been robbed twice in the last year.

Police have asked all area churches to step up security and perhaps they might add a prayer, too, that the suspect is caught.