Ex-altar boy convicted over poor box thefts

A former altar boy has been convicted of stealing from a New York church's poor box after being caught on surveillance videos.

The New York Times reports that surveillance videos at St Mary's Catholic Church showed Matthew Belcher, 37, using a screwdriver or other tool to break the locks on four poor boxes in May, Suffolk County police said.

The thefts occurred while the church was open.

Police did not know how much money was stolen because the donations were made anonymously, but they estimated it was less than $A1,200.

Belcher was charged with three counts of petit larceny and one count of criminal mischief, misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail.

There was no telephone listing for Belcher at the home address provided by police or in the surrounding areas.

Police say ex-altar boy robbed New York church poor boxes (International Herald Tribune, 26/7/07)

27 Jul 2007