Paterson police captured a homeless man who they said broke into two donation boxes and stole brass candle holders and candles from the altar of a city church.
Surveillance video from overnight Friday shows 35-year-old Antonio Figueroa trying to remove the tabernacle from the altar and breaking into the boxes at St. Agnes R.C. Church on Main Street, Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said.
Figueroa is then seen leaving with two 42-inch candle holders in each hand and two 24-inch candles in the pockets of his shorts, he said.
A string of break-ins at the church over the past month or so – including the Aug. 30 theft of $500 – sparked an investigation by Detective Sgt. Jack DeSalvo and Detectives Jason English, Brian Culmone, Sebastian Gomez, and Jovan Candelo, Speziale said.
Patrol officers who were given an image taken from the surveillance video spotted Figueroa a few blocks away and took him into custody, the director said.
The detectives, meanwhile, recovered the candles and their holders from an abandoned house on nearby Chadwick Street, he said.
Figueroa was charged with burglary and theft from the Friday incident.
An investigation into the other burglaries was continuing, Speziale said.
PHOTO: Bobby Adappoor
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