Callous crook hides in confessional box ... then steals church collection

Father John McGrath with one of the collection bags, ?300 got stolen during collection at st aloysius church'photo emma mitchell'27/8/11
Father John McGrath with one of the collection bags, ?300 got stolen during collection at st aloysius church'photo emma mitchell'27/8/11

CHURCHGOERS have been sickened by the theft of a £300 collection for charity.

Father John McGrath and members of St Aloysius Church in Springburn have been stunned by the theft that unfolded following a special service to raise money for charity.

The congregation made donations of around £300 to the Church In Need during the 6pm service.

After mass, everyone left the church and the priest bolted the door and went to the manse.

But when he returned later that evening, at about 11pm, the bags with the money were gone.

It’s believed someone entered the church earlier and hid in the confessional box.

Father McGrath said: “Everyone is absolutely gutted. They are shocked and disappointed that someone would do this. The church was busy with around 90 to 100 people. We think the person hid in the confessional box.

“It was pure bad luck. Thankfully there was no damage and no-one was injured.”

The bags containing the money were also valuable, worth around £200. They are leather with a metal hanger, four were red and four were blue.

Following the appalling theft, which took place on Saturday, August 20, the community rallied round to make more donations. Security has also been tightened at the church.

Father McGrath added: “People have been wonderful. As soon as they heard what happened they have been so kind and gave more money, which is probably more than what was originally collected.

“An alarm has now been installed so this won’t happen again.”

Police have reviewed CCTV camera footage in the area.

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call Baird Street Police Office on 0141 532 4400.