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Four men arrested over Philippine church burglary

Outrage after thieves steal collection boxes with money meant to help people struggling in the pandemic

Four men arrested over Philippine church burglary

Thieves stole eight donation boxes from a church in Batangas province. (Photo: Unsplash)

Police in the Philippines have arrested four people for breaking into a Catholic church and stealing donated money for Covid victims.

The four suspects, who included two children, broke into St. John the Baptist Parish Church in Lian in Batangas province south of Manila on Aug. 30 before making off with eight donation boxes filled with cash.

They were later spotted breaking the boxes open, which led to them being identified when the alarm was raised and police were called.

Police were able to recover almost 20,000 pesos (US$400) from the suspects, who hid the loot in their homes.

Churchgoers in the province were furious that someone would steal donations.

“It was money to be distributed to Covid-affected individuals in our community. I do not understand why people are so selfish to think of taking something that is not theirs,” Batangas parishioner Francis Elegacion told UCA News.

Batangas police spokesman Joben dela Cruz said the incident was the second recorded theft from a church this year in the province.

In July, two men were apprehended for stealing and selling a sound system.

“It may sound funny to many but these men stole the church’s microphones and speakers and sold them in a local store,” Dela Cruz said.

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