Robber steals donation boxes from two local churches

Surveillance photo

An unidentified man has broken into at least seven Northeast properties, including two churches and several restaurants, since Aug. 14, police say.

Detectives have obtained surveillance video of one of the crimes and hope that someone will recognize the suspect. He has been described as white and anywhere from 20 to 40 years old. He may have a tattoo on his right forearm and, during at least one of the crimes, wore a brace on his right hand, as well as bandages on his left hand and leg.

The burglar struck at Maternity BVM Church, 9220 Old Bustleton Ave., on Aug. 14 and at Our Lady of Calvary Church, 11024 Knights Road, on Aug. 21, police said.

The earlier crime occurred at about 8:15 p.m., when the crook broke into two donation boxes next to the votive candles at the altar. He took an unknown amount of money.

Authorities don’t know how he got into the locked church, but he may have hidden inside after an earlier Mass.

On Aug. 21, the burglar broke a stained-glass window in a door to access that church. Once inside, he stole a donation box and also took money from a second donation box. Video from the scene showed the thief wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gloves.

The burglar also broke front windows to access several businesses, including Bellissimo’s Pizza at 7816 Castor Ave. on Aug. 21, Cafe Italiano at 1871 Cottman Ave. on Aug. 24, KFC at 9021 Frankford Ave. on Aug. 25 and Supreme Pizza at 7514 Castor Ave. on Aug. 27. He also broke into Rita’s at 8601 Frankford Ave. on Aug. 23 or 24.

Visit the Philadelphia Police channel on YouTube.com to view surveillance video. Call 215–686-TIPS or text to PPD TIP to report information. ••