Union City Church Burglarized of Thousands of Dollars Intended for Youth Program

A Union City church was burglarized of thousands of dollars on Tuesday and the suspect remains at large, police said.

An employee at St. Anne's Catholic Church at 32223 Cabello St. reported the burglary shortly after 8 p.m., police Cmdr. Ben Horner said.

Officers learned the suspect entered the parish office through a window that was possibly unsecured and stole a box with at least $8,000 in cash and checks, Horner said.

The office had been locked at the time of the burglary, he said.

Police are reviewing video footage from a surveillance system at the office and analyzing items recovered in the parking lot, according to Horner.

A suspect description was not immediately available and no suspect vehicle was involved in the theft, Horner said.

Outside of church activities, community members also use the parish for after school programs and other functions, he said.

Fr. Geoffrey Baraan said he was sad about the stolen money, which was registration dues for the parish's Youth Ministry Program, a two-year curriculum aimed at high school students.

The students' parents have been notified of the theft and the program will continue as scheduled, Baraan said.

A review of the church's security video, which was not very clear, showed a person on the parish grounds sometime between 11 p.m. Monday and 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to Baraan.

An employee at the church did not notice the theft until later that day because the office had not been ransacked, Baraan said.

New video security cameras have been set up at the parish since Tuesday's burglary, though Baraan said he would ask the church's facility committee to consider purchasing ones with a higher resolution.

In 2012, the church's statues of Mary and Joseph outside facing the parking lot were blacked out and graffiti of satanic symbols was sprayed nearby on the walls and roof.

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