Criminals go to church on Easter too

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, April 10, 2012

NATCHEZ — Even Easter is apparently not a “thou-shalt-not” for local criminals.

Natchez Lt. Craig Godbold said the Natchez Police Department is investigating a case of theft at St. Mary Basilica and a car burglary at Parkway Baptist Church reported on Sunday.

According to police reports, Natchez police responded to a call of a suspicious man at The Mark Apartments who was looking in vehicles parked at the complex. An officer detained the man and searched a backpack he was carrying and found several candles and four bottles of holy water with St. Mary Basilica printed on them.

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A supplemental report states another officer went to St. Mary Basilica and met with the church’s priest, and the officer and the priest discovered that a door from a church pantry had been ripped off and several candles matching the description of those in possession of the suspect were missing.

The incident at St. Mary Basilica was initially reported as a burglary, but Godbold said the offense will more than likely be downgraded to petit larceny. He said no charges have been filed yet.

A Parkway Baptist Church attendee was the victim of a car theft after someone reportedly stole her purse and cell phone out of her unlocked car during a church service. Godbold said the department does not currently have any leads in the case.

Anyone with any information about the thefts should call NPD at 601-445-5565 or Crime Stoppers at 601-442-5000.

Callers can remain anonymous.