EXCLUSIVE: Burglar breaking into area churches for money, electronics

November 24, 2014 Helen Klein
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Cops are searching for one unholy thief has been hitting up churches in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park this fall, stealing cash and electronics.

So far, the bandit has burglarized 10 houses of worship in the area, leading cops in the neighboring 68th and 72nd Precincts to band together to take him down said Captain Raymond Festino, the 68th Precinct’s commanding officer.

To that end, cops have asked the public to keep their eyes peeled, Festino added, and let the NYPD know if they see anything out of the ordinary in the vicinity of local houses of worship.

“We need eyes from the public,” Festino told this paper, explaining that if residents see people loitering near the sacred sites at odd hours, such as late in the evening (burglaries have taken place between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., Festino said), they should call 911 to report it.

“He’s hit multiple churches, any denomination,” Festino noted, saying that the break-ins generally occur “through a rear or side window. He’s going in and stealing small amounts of U.S. currency or electronics. For the most part, we believe that the guy is hooked on drugs and doing this to get quick money.”

The six Ridgeite churches hit are St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church, 340 67th Street, which was burglarized on Thursday, October 9; the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church, 6753 Fourth Avenue, hit on Saturday, November 8; Our Lady of Angels Church, 344 73rd Street, hit on Saturday, October 18; the First Evangelical Free Church, 6501 Sixth Avenue; St. Mary’s Antiochian Church, 192 81st Street, broken into on Friday, October 17; and St. Anselm’s Rectory, 356 82nd Street, burglarized on Thursday, October 23.

In Sunset Park, the church properties that have been burglarized are the Assemblia Pentecostal, 317 48th Street; the Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church, 4616 Fourth Avenue; Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, 5902 Sixth Avenue and Zion Lutheran Church, 6307 Fourth Avenue.

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