Thief Steals Thousands from Church Fish Fry

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BEREA, Ohio -- "Thou shalt not steal."  That commandment apparently meant nothing to the person who stole from – of all places – a church.

St. Adalbert Catholic Church in Berea has run a popular fish fry on Fridays during Lent for years.

This past Friday, about 800 people enjoyed the fish.  Later, someone enjoyed themselves to the money raised at the fish fry.

Sean Carney lives across the street from the church and has been to the fish fry.

"I think it's terrible.  I can't imagine someone going into a church and stealing from the church,” he said.

Berea Police believe the proceeds from the fish fry were about $7,000.

The money was put into a church safe Friday night, but when church leaders went to count it Saturday morning, the bag of money was gone.

According to police, there was no forced entry to get inside the church.

Maureen Lucietta is a volunteer with the Alumni and Friends of St. Adalbert Church and School who put on the fish fry.

She said the monies raised help both the church and the school.

"It's a tragedy. It goes to our school.  It supports our children and it supports all the programs at St. Adalbert’s, and we do a lot of work to make sure that these programs continue,” she said.

In a written statement, the pastor and the parish leadership say they are praying for the person responsible and that the money is returned.

Carney hopes the thief has a conscience.

"I hope they step forward and return the money.  That money belongs to the church and the school and the kids that attend the school,” he said.

Berea police continue to investigate the robbery.

This Friday’s fish fry at St. Adalbert will go on as scheduled from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.