Man posing as parishoner robs Manhattan church of $11K

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — He’s definitely not a man of the cloth.

A robber was caught on surveillance video creeping around the rectory of a Manhattan church, right after a Sunday afternoon mass, and stealing some $11,000 from a priest’s bedside table.

It happened May 25 at Immaculate Conception Church on Manhattan’s East 14 Street, police said Wednesday.


The thief was able to make away with $11,000 from a priest’s nightstand.

Monsignor Kevin Nelan said the unidentified man posed as a member of an after-mass meeting group, slyly broke off on his own and snuck up the staircase.

He either did not notice –- or did not care about — the multiple security cameras, which caught him snooping around upstairs.

What’s upstairs?

“More bedrooms. More living quarters for priests, and unfortunately on the third floor, he hit the jackpot and went into Father Steven’s room, and there he found the money in his nightstand,” Nelan said.

The thief made away with $11,000, money destined for a visiting Nigerian bishop who is raising money for his impoverished mission in his native country.

News of the theft disgusted parishioner Hector Rodriguez and it only took a few minutes of conversation with this Manhattan resident to figure out why.

“I made an offering at the holy blessed sacrament, to see if they could bring my sister back home,” Rodriguez said.

“So I dedicated for my sister in Boston. She’s been missing since the age of 16,” he continued. “And I’m just praying that she comes home. And I made an offering to God to bring her home. Yeah, and for the person that did this, you don’t got no morals. No respect. Because to rob a church, you gotta have a lot of guts to do that. And I’ll tell you, God is watching you.”

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