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Man Stole $11K in Cash From East Village Church, Police Say

By Lisha Arino | May 29, 2014 8:43am
Surveillance Video from Immaculate Conception Church
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EAST VILLAGE — A man stole $11,000 in cash from a bedroom in Immaculate Conception Church's rectory Sunday afternoon, police said.

According to the church’s pastor, the Rev. Monsignor Kevin Nelan, churchgoers had donated the money to a visiting bishop from Nigeria, who then gave it to a Nigerian priest who was living in the rectory at 414 E. 14th St.

The priest kept the cash in the nightstand of his third-floor bedroom at the rectory after he was unable to deposit it in the bank on the bishop's behalf, Nelan said.

The suspect entered the rectory by attaching himself to a group of parishioners who stopped by after mass last Sunday, Nelan said. He broke away from the others and tried several doors on the second and third floors before finding the Nigerian priest's door unlocked, Nelan said.

Another priest heard the commotion and asked what the suspect was doing in the rectory, then escorted him out, Nelan said.

Police said the suspect was last seen wearing a black baseball hat, brown shorts, white sneakers and a red T-shirt.

Those with information are asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted by visiting the Crime Stoppers website or by texting 274637(CRIMES) and entering TIP577.