Thieves Target Downriver Parish–Twice

Riverview is a quiet bedroom community stretched along the Detroit River, about fifteen miles south of the central city.  Catholics in the city worship at St. Cyprian Catholic Church on Pennsylvania Road near Fort Street, the major traffic ribbon which leads northward to Detroit.

Last week thieves broke into the parish’s shed for the second time in a month, despite recent security enhancements including stronger locks and more lighting—stealing thousands of dollars worth of lawn and snow equipment.  The total value of equipment stolen in the two thefts was estimated at $4,500.

Father Bill Promesso, pastor of the 1950s-era suburban parish, informed parishioners of the theft in the parish bulletin:

For the second time in a month, our maintenance garage, located on the north end of the parking lot, has been the victim of breaking, entering and thievery.  Sunday, July 29 was the first burglary.  On Sunday night, August 18, the smaller door was busted open with pry bars (left behind by the criminals) which overwhelmed even the new deadbolt lock mechanism.

Much of the outdoor equipment (except the riding mowers) for lawns, shrubs and trees was taken a few weeks ago and recently replaced with new items.  On Sunday night, the new items were taken along with our snowblowers and other equipment.  Riverview Police reported that at least two other buildings along Pennsylvania Road had also been visited by thieves that night.

Father Bill is thankful that property insurance will cover the replacement of the equipment (less a $500 deductible for each theft); but he expressed disappointment that anyone would feel they needed to steal from a church.  These are difficult economic times, he noted; but if an individual needs help, he’d prefer that they seek help from the parish, rather than stealing church property.  He hopes that the individuals will return the equipment which doesn’t belong to them; but in the meantime, he’s increased security on the parish grounds.

If you have any information regarding the crime, or if you’ve seen any of the missing equipment, please contact the Riverview Police Department at 734.281.4222.

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