Several thousand dollars in collection money stolen from Catholic church

Thieves make off collection plates from St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Thousands of dollars were stolen over the weekend from St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

Father Tony Vilano of St. Francis of Assisi said it happened overnight between Sunday night and Monday morning.

"After we finished our last Mass, sometime in the evening, someone came in and broke into St. Francis of Assisi," said Vilano. "(They) broke into this parish and went straight for the collections."

Vilano believes the burglars first pried a door open, went through the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and broke a window to get in the main church.

Thousands of dollars in checks and cash from the collections over the weekend were stolen. The money was meant to serve many different ministries, including those that help out the needy.

"It's scary because you come here to celebrate with the faithful, you come to celebrate the good news and then you wake up in the morning with a phone call saying that somebody broke in," said Vilano. "Who knows who it was, but they knew what they wanted and they knew exactly where to go."

Church staff have notified parishioners by email and the bookkeeper is working to contact those who give on a regular basis to keep a close eye on their accounts, but they're also asking anyone who knows anything about the crime to come forward.

"If there's anybody who's watching and knows anything or sees something suspicious, maybe someone who has extra money and they didn't have it, we can surely use their help," said Vilano.

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