HOWARD BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Two people were caught on camera breaking into a Queens church and stealing hundreds of dollars from a donation boxes.
The incident happened at St. Helen’s Roman Catholic Church, and the suspects appeared in no rush once they broke in, reports CBS2’s Marc Liverman.READ MORE: Broadway League: Audiences Must Be Vaccinated And Masked; Performers, Crew And Staff Required To Be Vaccinated
A surveillance video a suspect lifting up what looks like one of the church’s donation boxes. She is shown slowly taking out cash from the bottom of a collection box, even counting and sorting it on the church floor.
Police say it happened around 3 a.m. on Thursday at the church on 83rd Street.
Investigators said one of the suspects broke the church door. Once inside, the other suspect stole about $400 in cash from four separate donation boxes.
“Yeah everyone’s talking about it. They’re very upset about it,” Jasmine Mejia said.READ MORE: Big Changes At The Top For MTA, New York City Transit Leadership
“When they start targeting the church you go straight to the heart,” Rosanna Craine added.
Nine-year-old Rosalia Casillo recently put a $5 bill into one of the boxes. Casillo said she’d tell the suspect taking what does not belong to you is wrong — be charitable instead.
“If someone needs shelter, give them shelter. If someone needs food, give them food,” the young girl told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
The NYPD has also released a photo of the car those suspects took off in, a red four-door sedan.
Church officials told CBS2 the theft is a police matter and they don’t have any thing else to add however, some members of the community urged the thieves to come forward and confess.MORE NEWS: Biden Administration Says National Eviction Moratorium Will Expire Saturday
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by Tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.