Armed robbers with power tools broke into St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church overnight, taking an estimated $40,000 plus some of the church’s gold Mass vessels. In neighboring Clinton Township, the same thieves apparently broke into Saint Luke Lutheran Church after the Easter service, stealing an undisclosed amount of cash.
At Saint Therese of Lisieux, a spokesperson told me that the break-in occurred sometime between 9:00 p.m. on Easter and 6:00 a.m. Monday morning. The thieves gained access to the business office, then used power tools to cut open the side of the safe in which the Easter offering—traditionally one of the largest collections of the year—was locked. In addition to the Easter collection, estimated at $40,000, the thieves took approximately 50 banks in which children of the parish had saved pennies for Operation Rice Bowl, with an estimated $300 in smaller contributions. Also stolen was a Mass kit containing a gold chalice and paten, which are used for weekly masses at a nursing home.
Many people have offered prayers for the needs of the parish, for the parishioners and for the church, I was told. The parish is asking people to pray, especially, for the thieves—that they will turn their lives around.
If you have information about the theft, please contact the Shelby Township Police Department at 586.731.2121.