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Thieves break into cars at Catholic church during Easter service

POSTED: April 6, 2008 5:01 a.m.
Four parishioners who attended a Saturday night Easter vigil at St. Michael Catholic Church returned to their cars to find their windows broken and belongings taken, police said.

The thief or thieves used an unknown object to smash out the passenger side windows of four cars parked in the church parking lot at 1440 Pearce Circle, Gainesville police Lt. Brian Kelly said. Two of the cars were parked at the rear of the church. The break-ins occurred between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., while an 8:30 p.m. vigil was being held at the church.

About $270 in cash was taken from purses or wallets left in the cars, along with a cell phone ear piece worth $125, Kelly said. Damage to the cars was estimated at a total of $1,400.

A fifth car that had a window partially rolled down was also entered illegally, Kelly said. Police have no suspects. There were no similar crimes over the weekend, Kelly said.

Church officials were not available for comment Tuesday.

Gainesville had 331 entering auto cases in 2007; down from 353 the previous year.



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