Police are investigating a number of church break-in in May and June throughout St. Charles County.
Three churches in unincorporated St. Charles County, including , Calvary West and St. Joseph Catholic Church, were robbed in May. Three churches in St. Charles were robbed in the last week.
on Third Street in St. Charles has been burglarized four times during the last two weeks, said Don Moxley, business manager for the Parish.
On Saturday, the thief broke into the candle donation box - although it had been reinforced- and was seen by a parishioner.
St. Charles Police Detective Sgt. Todd Wilson said the witness described the man as well-dressed, in his late 40s or 50s, about 6’ and black with a skinny build. The witness said another man in his 20s who was also black stayed in a car, which is possibly a white, four-door car with damage to the left rear panel.
Soon after that the thief broke into the rectory, and took several credit cards, a laptop computer and some cash, said Moxley. The credit cards had been used within an hour in St. Louis County, he said.
"It's disturbing, obviously, to think people are walking around like that will walk into a church," Moxley said.
The church had been burglarized three times before the incident Saturday. The first two times, someone broke into the chapel and took money out of the candle donation box. The third time, the thief waited until after adoration, then took the big-screen TV which has been used in an overflow area so people can see the service.
A Fender Telecaster guitar, valued at $1,200, was reportedly stolen from sometime overnight on June 20. The guitar was evidently located in a storage area on the lower level of the church that had some chicken wire around it and padlocks on the doors, Wilson said. The chicken wire had been ripped off.
On Tuesday afternoon someone attempted to rob . By that time, the churches had heard about the robberies and had begun emptying out the collection boxes. The man looked in several donation boxes in the sanctuary before walking out.
Wilson said police have video footage from the St. Robert burglary attempt.
While police investigate, St. Peter Parish has gotten more vigilant about keeping doors locked, said Moxley.
"It's scary," he said.
Notes on other robberies:
St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1390 Josephville Road, was robbed overnight May 9. St. Charles Sheriff's Department Spokesman Lt. Craig McGuire said the church was left unlocked and thieves rifled through cabinets, ripped down a video camera surveillance system and took a laptop computer.
Immanuel Lutheran Church, 632 East Hwy N, was reportedly robbed overnight May 20. Thieves broke into the school through the door on the west side and ransacked the office. Gift cards in values between $5 and $100 from Amazon, Amaco, Burger King, JC Penny, Kohl's, $150 in cash and two laptop computers were taken.
Calvary West Church, 2805 Dietrich Road, was reportedly robed overnight on May 31. The roof from the window was broken out and about $75 was missing.