A thief entered a church’s choir room to steal thousands of pounds worth of valuables during a Sunday Mass by disguising himself as a worshiper.
Security camera footage shows the criminal raiding the back rooms of the All Saints Church in Northampton.
Watch the footage of the man stealing valuables below.
Video credit: Rumble
The culprit can be seen entering the door from the upper side of the screen, dressed in a green puffer jacket with a grey baseball cap on his head.
After having a quick view of the rooms, he closes the door behind him, being as gentle as he can, to avoid making any noise.
Upon noticing the camera, he tries to keep his face hidden behind his hoodie. However, when he goes to the rooms, another camera in one of the rooms captures his face.
This looks like the room where the choir members keep their personal belongings before going for the Mass.
Starting with a handbag, he searches it and transfers something from it to his pocket and then rushes to check out more bags.
He can be seen going to all the bags and other things in the room, scavenging for valuables and transferring them to his pockets. At one point, he realizes he needs something big to salvage all the valuables in the room. So he takes a shoulder bag from the room and uses it to keep more valuables as he collects them.
Having completed his ‘task’ in the room, he heads out just to realize that he can look for more things. He comes back, notices a phone on the center table, picks it up but places it back again, hesitating on something.
He then wears the bag he took from the room on his shoulder and moves out of the room at the end of the video.
Father Oliver Coss, the church rector, said the thief had ‘accepted a hymnbook and a warm welcome’ and was seated in the pews at around 10:30 am, Sunday morning.
However, he got out during the service and opened the locked room using a crowbar.
The man took eight bank cards, a cellular phone, a shoulder bag, a Calvin Klein Wallet, a total of $287 in cash and a MacBook Pro.
The thief also took the belongings of four children including a 9-year-old who was afraid that her parents would apprehend her for it.
Father Coss told the Daily Mail: “He came into church looking disheveled.
“I didn’t think I had seen him before but we are an open building and people come in and out. We didn’t suspect him. He took a hymn book and sat down as if to spend Sunday service with us.
“He waited until the choir processed down and when he knew the room was empty and the service in progress, he crow-barred his way into the choir room and thieved with enthusiasm from kids.
“It’s more disturbing that it was so calculating. He knew when we would be distracted.
“It wasn’t a lucky strike. I would think he planned it after reconnoitering the church. We have been left angry and anxious by what’s happened.
“He has got away with over two thousand pounds worth of stuff and hundreds of pounds has been spent on the cards in shops.
“Two of the victims are adults – one an assistant organist and the other a volunteer and singer in the choir.
“Four are under 18. They are choristers who have come through our program and left their stuff behind closed doors.
“We are in the business of praying for criminals and there is space for forgiveness, but stealing from kids is not right and we want to see justice.”
Northamptonshire Police department said they are investigating the case of theft at the centuries-old Anglican Church but Father Coss does not look like he’s satisfied with their work.
The priest said that even though the public has identified the suspect, the police have not yet been able to arrest him.
He said: “We discovered the theft within an hour on Sunday and I posted CCTV stills. Almost immediately I got reports from people who recognized the man.
“They were standing behind him in supermarket queues as he spent money on the cards.
“It was startling that Northamptonshire Police couldn’t send someone to find him. I think they lacked the boots on the ground because of serious incidents and flooding that day.
“Their response has been inadequate and it feels like solving this crime was put down their list. Only last week a critical report was published about them.
“We haven’t heard anything from them since Sunday.
“We have replaced a couple of locks and provided a secure place for the choristers to put their stuff. We will keep our doors open because a church that closes them has failed in its duty.
“But we will be more suspicious of people and that will make it harder for us to trust them.”
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