Thursday 22 August 2019

WATCH: Man caught red-handed stealing from collection basket during mass

Sarah Jane Murphy

This video, shot by a surveillance camera, shows a church volunteer stealing money from collection baskets during the offertory procession at a Sunday morning mass.

Mario Condis (60), has been charged with one count of grand theft and three counts of petit theft after police deputies viewed the incriminating footage

The theft took place at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Ocala, in northern Florida.

A priest can be heard celebrating mass in Spanish as the man stuffs the parishioners money into his pockets.

Condis, a volunteer collector for many years, appears unaware that police officers are nearby.

Suspicions were aroused when Condis began to attend more than one mass a day, and parishioners contacted police who launched an investigation.

Police officers positioned themselves at various points of the church prior to the beginning of the mass.

Condis was escorted from the church by police and a body search uncovered $349.05 (€€325.07) from his person.

When asked where he got the money, Condis denied his involvement in the theft and claimed the money was his.

He then changed his story and said that he was in the process of putting the money back at the altar.

"It's just amazing someone would come into church and be that disrespectful," Police Lieutenant Robbins said.

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