STE. GENEVIEVE, MO (KFVS) - Churches often reach out and help people in need in the community. However, someone recently reached into the donation box at a Ste. Genevieve church and took what they wanted.
Police say someone came in the main door of the church, walked to the front, broke into a donation box, and took money.
The priest at Ste. Genevieve Catholic Church said it wasn't a large amount of money, probably about $15 to $20. However, he says it's the principle of taking from a place that gives so much that is the most disheartening.
Father Dennis Schmidt said the suspect was caught on security cameras.
"He puts the money in his pocket, turns and faces right toward the camera, doesn't realize it's there, and walks right back to the back," Father Schmidt said.
The church installed the cameras about a year ago after someone stole relics. Ste. Genevieve Police Chief Eric Bennett said a similar incident happened in a church in Farmington just hours before.
"From the indication from the video, he had done this before and came straight in and targeted the collection box," Chief Bennett said. "It may be indicative of somebody that's traveling through and targeting specific churches."
Chief Bennett said he hopes this isn't the start of a trend.
"Hopefully people will have the decency to and just a conscious enough to not target churches obviously we'd like to see them not target anything but this is an organization that helps so many people and so many organizations it's really kind of disheartening," Chief Bennett said.
Father Schmidt said if the man needed help, he should have just asked.
"Certainly if he is a person who was in need of assistance there are certainly organizations right here in Ste. Genevieve to help," Father Schmidt said. "Our St. Vincent De Paul is very active in the community, probably is the largest outreach to the community."
Chief Bennett is asking anyone who may have any information on this incident to please call the Ste. Genevieve Police Department at 573-883-3999.