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Easter Thief Takes Church Collections

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Inside of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (WWJ Photo/Ron Dewey)

Inside of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (WWJ Photo/Ron Dewey)

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WYANDOTTE (WWJ) – Authorities say a man walked into a Wyandotte church on Easter and took the day’s collections likely holding thousands of dollars.
  
The theft took place on Easter Sunday morning at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Wyandotte.

Police said that man may have had prior knowledge of the church’s layout, being that he made his way through a side door that would usually be locked. The well-dressed thief asked to speak with the priest before walking through a back hallway, taking the money bag and leaving.

Police Chief Daniel Grant said they’re on the lookout for anyone trying to cash checks made out to the church or cash.

“Now we’re trying to get a witness who can give a more detailed description (for a composite) drawing and keep our eyes open (for anyone) coming up with a large amount of money they wouldn’t have, along with possibly the passing of any checks,” said Grant.

The suspect is described as a white male, of smaller stature, in his 40’s with a receding hairline.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Ron Dewey spoke with parishioners who were shocked by the news.

“Anytime somebody helps themselves to what’s not rightfully theirs… that’s the way people are, though. Always somebody just (taking advantage) of the weak person,” one man said.

Parishioner Ray Lioni of Wyandotte said he couldn’t believe someone would do this on Easter.

“That’s a celebration.  That’s the biggest celebration of the year for the church. And something like that happens and it’s really a heart breaker,” he said.

“I thought it was pretty low-life.  I thought it was pretty cheap, you know. I don’t know… I just couldn’t believe it,” Lioni said.

Church officials said the money would have gone toward the church’s upkeep — heating, lighting and maintenance.

Meantime, in Mid-Michigan, more than a half-dozen churches have been burglarized this month. (More on this).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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