The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 29, 2012

Sneak thief steals $4,000 from Lewisburg church

By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item

LEWISBURG — An unknown person walked off Sunday with as much as $4,000 in church collection funds and a woman’s purse from Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, a church official confirmed.

It is the first time such a theft has happened at Sacred Heart for Monsignor William Richardson, who has been pastor at the St. Louis Street church for the past six years.

“I’m kind of saddened,” Richardson said. “Most people would say you don’t hear about this kind of thing in Lewisburg.”

The theft was discovered after the Sunday noon Mass at about 2 p.m., Richardson said. Church members were counting the noon  collections when the finance manager discovered both the regular money pouch and her purse were missing.

A door to an area not open to the public was found ajar, he said. The church is usually open, but the door the thief used is not.

The money “was not a very public area,” he said. “The person obviously walked in and took it.”

Richardson said he and other parishioners have no idea who the thief may be.

It’s believed the funds were those gathered at collections for the Saturday Mass at 5 p.m. and the Sunday 8 a.m. Mass. Richardson said he is not sure of the exact amount but believes it could be as much as $4,000.

All the checks from the collection were stamped “for deposit only” at the church and were ready to go to the bank, Richardson said.

“It’s one of those things, there is not much you can do about it,” said Richardson, who sounded downcast. “It’s just a sad thing.”

Buffalo Valley Regional Police declined to give details on the theft, saying it is still under investigation. Any person with details or information about this crime is asked to call the police at 524-4302.