A suspect has been positively identified in the break-in at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Marshfield.
On Sunday, 12/23 at 12:57 p.m., a male juvenile entered the church and attempted to break into a safe located in the sacristy using a found screwdriver. After unsuccessfully trying to open it for half an hour, damaging it, the suspect took a microphone valued at $200 and two gold-plated PYX valued at $40.
The church had just installed a security system three days prior to the incident and captured the suspect from three HD cameras. Footage was turned over to investigators.
Father Keith Kitzhaber had ordered a 4-camera security system the same day as a break-in two weeks ago. Keys to a cabinet and tabernacle were stolen then, but nothing from inside these had been taken. A few other inexpensive items were missing, and it was noticed the safe had been moved. It is unknown if the two incidents are related.
Three of the HD cameras were running by the second break-in that made it easy to see the face of the suspect, who didn’t appear to notice the cameras. Father Kitzhaber discovered the attempt about five hours later and reported it.
The safe itself has never held any cash or anything that could easily be turned into cash.
“We’re pretty sure the person felt the safe held something monetary, like the collection,” said Father Kitzhaber. “There’s only a couple old chalices in there.”
The investigation is ongoing.