Nearly $10K stolen from St. Vincent de Paul donation bin
CHICAGO — Chicago police are investigating a break-in at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in which someone stole almost $10,000.
As police go after the person who got away with the Christmas Day donations and offerings, church leaders are asking the community to lend a hand to help recoup what was stolen.
“My initial reaction was deep sadness,” Father Christopher Robinson said. “It was not anger, it was sadness.”
It was the unfortunate reality he walked into Tuesday morning after last being at the church on Christmas Day for mass.
“We saw where they came through a window, knocked things off a desk and then discovered that the safe was ajar,” Robinson said.
The Chicago Police Department said the break-in occurred sometime late-Monday night to early Tuesday morning.
Once inside the church, it appears the intruder used a crowbar to break through several doors and eventually got access to the Parish safe.
“It was mostly secure but there seems to be something faulty about the safe where it hadn’t locked properly,” Robinson said.
The thief got away with the Christmas and Sunday offering collection, which is estimated to be about $9-11,000, according to Robinson.
He said the money was designated to help with salaries and community outreach.
“We have so many different types of ministries and our only source of income is what we receive from people,” Robinson said. “And Christmas is one of our biggest days.”
There are no surveillance cameras but Robinson said there are cameras all over the DePaul University campus and they’re working with the university’s safety team to review the video.
In an effort to recoup what was taken, a GoFundMe page is now set up for people to make contributions.
“We’re hoping the community can help us because what we do is help the community, especially through our outreach programs and also through our collaboration with the neighborhood,” he said.
Robsinson said he wishes the person who broke in would have come to him for help.
“It’s like, if you had asked us, we might have been able to do something,” he said. “Now we can’t do a lot of things for a lot of people.”
In the aftermath of what’s happened, Robinson said cameras have been ordered. He said he doesn’t speculate this was an inside job because he says someone who knew where things were wouldn’t have gone through such a hard time to get inside.
The incident is still under investigation by Area Three detectives.
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