Church officials at a Lincolnton worship facility told the Times-News Thursday that a thief has targeted the building twice this month.
On both occasions, minimal amounts of money were stolen from the collection boxes at St. Dorothy’s Catholic Church, according to Father Matthew Buettner.
In the most recent incident, which church officials said happened sometime between 9 p.m. Wednesday, following a meeting at the building, and 9:30 a.m. Thursday, when church members Nancy and Richard Concato discovered the door to the Parrish hall had been shattered. They also found a window broken on the back of the building.
The couple was at the church to set up for an American Red Cross blood drive set for Thursday afternoon.
“They (thieves) just wanted the money I guess,” Nancy said.
Money was taken from boxes used to support the community’s needy population through Christian Ministry donations and lighting the church candles. Both are located in the lobby of the main entrance, Nancy said.
Following a similar incident earlier this month in which Buettner said money was first taken from a collection box after a church door had accidentally been left unlocked overnight, church officials worked to better secure the facility.
“We triple bolted the ‘poor’ box after the first time,” he said. Buettner also plans to reinstate the church alarm system.
While this week’s break-in forced church officials to file their first police report in at least the last nine years, they were thankful the incidents weren’t more serious.
“My first concern was that no one was hurt and that nothing sacrilegious was done,” Buettner said.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office confirmed details of the break-in and said deputies are currently investigating a lead in the case.