Might as well steal a one-way ticket to hell.
Glendale police have proudly announced their capture of the L.A. County Church Bandit: 52-year-old parolee Peter Manuel Galindro (he also calls himself Paul sometimes… being the Bible fanatic that he is). Galindro's key targets over the last few months — ringin' in 2011 with the devil on both shoulders — were Holy Family Catholic Church in Glendale and St. Finbar's Catholic Church in Burbank.
The loot? $6,000 in cash and check donations, including $400 from a box intended for Haiti relief…
… and, according to the Glendale News Press, a “large donation box that contained hundreds of dollars meant for the poor.”
Wait, it gets better: According to church officials, his getaway vehicle of choice was a “dark-colored beach cruiser with a silver basket,” which we're pretty sure would also be Satan's vehicle of choice if he didn't have heel flame propellors or whatever.
Turns out Galindro was already on parole for a soulless burglary past, so police recognized him from surveillance cameras before making the arrest at his mother's house in Downey.
From the News Press:
Galindro is also suspected of stealing at least $5,000 in donations made to St. Finbar's Catholic Church in Burbank. … A church employee had placed the donations in her vehicle midday Sept. 7 when a man ran up, opened the car door, grabbed the money bag and fled, according to Burbank police reports.
Last week, KABC reported that, according to Holy Family facility manager Bill Evans, “the suspect uses a pick that he carries in his right boot” to pry open the donation boxes. Others, however, identified the crime tool as a screwdriver.
“I can't believe someone would actually take money from a church,” Glendale Police Sergeant Tom Lorenz told KABC.