Thieves targeting worshippers in Latrobe churches
While some parishioners in the Latrobe area were worshipping in churches over the past month, thieves were stealing from their vehicles in church parking lots, police said this week.
Since the beginning of April, state police at Greensburg have investigated about 60 thefts from vehicles parked at churches within a 5-mile radius of Latrobe, said state police Trooper Steve Limani.
The burglars are stealing cell phones, cash, computers and other valuables from locked and unlocked cars while the owners are inside the churches, Limani said.
If the vehicle is locked, burglars are executing a “smash and grab,” breaking a window and fleeing with what they steal, Limani said.
“Ninety-five percent of these kinds of thefts” are related to drug use, Limani said. Drug users are looking to steal something they can turn into cash for drugs or trade for drugs.
“Your high-end thief is not smashing car windows at a church,” Limani said.
To deter the thefts, Limani said valuables should be placed inside vehicle glove compartments or trunks.
Parishioners should be aware of their surroundings and be cognizant of anyone acting suspiciously, such as someone lifting the door handles of parked cars.
“If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't right. Call us (at 724-832-3288) and become a good witness,” Limani said.
Latrobe police Chief James Bumar this week reminded residents that there have been several thefts from cars in Latrobe and surrounding areas during church services, as well as several thefts from cars in Latrobe that have been unlocked in the owners' driveways or on the street.
At Bethany United Methodist Church, 2415 Laveen St., money collected from parishioners was reported stolen at noon on Sunday, Latrobe police said. Police did not reveal how much money was stolen, but listed the theft as being $200 or more.
The pastor at Bethany United Methodist Church could not be reached for comment.
In addition, someone burglarized the sacristy at St. Martin's Church along Route 982 in New Derry on April 21, but none of the sacred vessels or priests' vestments were taken, state police said. The door to the sacristy was damaged, police said.
The priest at St. Martin's could not be reached for comment.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kennametal HQ relocation rankles Westmoreland County business leadership
- Democrats go on offense in Westmoreland County commission debate
- Ohio woman will be milestone passenger to fly out of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- Westmoreland County candidate admits to summary offenses
- Laurel Ridge rangers on watch for sexual misconduct in park
- Mt. Pleasant school board to discuss website plan
- Southmoreland directors to seek loan info from banks as state budget impasse continues
- Grandparents’ bids for child custody imperiled
- Greensburg council expected to approve fire truck purchase
- Accuser lying, rape defendant testifies in Westmoreland County trial
- Westmoreland couple charged with having heroin, marijuana