Money from donation box stolen from St. Francis Xavier Church

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - St. Louis city police are looking for a thief who stole from a donation box inside a catholic church.  The box, in which parishioners give money to light prayer candles, was inside a door at St. Xavier College Church on Lindell.

Workers at the church tell us the thief used bolt cutters to pry open the metal container.  They say about $200 was taken.  The box itself is actually worth more than what was stolen.

The theft happened sometime in the latter half of April, leaving a lengthy period of time to try and account for.

Outside the church Tuesday, there were mixed reactions to the theft.  Some parishioners have sympathy.

“You know what? Times are bad,“ Toni Dean said. “I think people are struggling in the economy today and ya know, they look for desperate measures and this is one of them.”

John Lopez agrees.

“I want to know why they did it,” he said.  “They probably had something, we desperate for it or something.  They probably wouldn’t have done it if they didn’t need the money.”

But a priest we spoke to, Fr. Jack Hunthausen calls it a criminal act, pure and simple.

“It’s shameful behavior but people have very little respect for themselves I believe and they hand it off to everybody else around town.  They just cannot respect the rights of others.  It’s all about me.”

It’s the second theft at St. Francis Xavier in the same time frame.  A crucifix was stolen in late April from the alter there as well.  A man is now facing charges in that case.

Anyone with information about the donation box theft should contact Crimestoppers at 866-371-TIPS.