Reward offered to catch Easter church thieves

Thieves hit St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church, St. Luke Lutheran Church after Easter Sunday

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DETROIT - After hearing the news that a church was robbed over the Easter holiday, a local businessman offered a $1000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits.

Thomas Guastello owns the Comfort Inn in Utica and the Shelby Town Center of Shelby Township. Guastello is also donating $1,000 to St. Therese church to help the church continue its work and service to the community.

St. Therese is one of two churches targeted by thieves after Easter Sunday.

Thieves disabled the security system at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Clinton Township Sunday night. They cut into the vault and stole the money inside. The money is insured but some parishioners from St. Luke were at the church Monday to make another Easter donation.

Police say the break-ins are believed to be related. Read more: Donation money stolen from 2 Macomb County churches

"This type of criminal conduct is unacceptable and violates the basic fiber of our community," said Guastello. "I am familiar with St. Therese church and the outstanding work it does. It is absolutely reprehensible that people would rob a church and steal a large amount of collection money and chalices. The robbery of St. Therese and the stealing of the Easter collection is especially sad. Easter is one of the most holy and sacred religious days, celebrating the resurrection of Christ."

The crooks entered St. Therese overnight through a glass door. They then pried open three more doors before stealing $6,500 in Easter collection money.

They also took at least one chalice and rice bowls. Children have been filling the bowls with coins during Lent to help poor children in other countries.

"We are proud that Macomb County and its communities are among the safest places to live, work, and raise families. Crimes such as this against a church is an affront to all people of Macomb County. That is why we are offering a reward to encourage people to become involved and solve this case," said Guastello.

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