Police Arrest Man for String of Boston Church Break-Ins
Police say one man is responsible for 11 recent church break-ins, including churches in the North End and Downtown Crossing.
At a time of year when many of Boston's Christians are celebrating their faith and emptying their pockets for those in need, police say one man took advantage of all that holiday generosity by attempting to pillage area churches no less than 11 times.
Boston Police said Monday that officers have arrested Richard Shriner, 44, of Boston, in connection with 11 incidents of breaking and entering or robbing Boston churches, including chuches in the North End and Downtown Crossing.
Shriner is charged with nine counts of breaking and entering, one count of larceny and one count of attempted breaking and entering.
Police accuse Shriner of breaking into St. Anthony's Shrine, a Catholic church at 100 Arch St., on three separate occasions -- once on Nov. 17 and again on Nov. 25 and 30 -- and an attempted break-in on Dec. 1.
Police said they chased Shriner down after viewing video surveillance of a break-in at St. Leonard at Port Maurice Parish in the North End on Nov. 29. Church personnel at St. Leonard's, a Catholic church located at 14 N. Bennet St., told police that several poor and donation boxes were broken into and money stolen.
St. Leonard's now empties all donation boxes at the end of each day.
Police say Shriner is charged with breaking into churches in Roxbury and Dorchester and also the Cathedral of Holy Cross and St. John the Baptist Greek Church, both in the South End.
Police say community service officers will visit local churches to assist with prevention efforts and provide security tips and techniques for theft prevention.