NBC10 Philadelphia - Doug Shimell
Police say William Hagans, 26, is in custody after allegedly stealing envelopes of money from St. Gabriel Parish. Sisters at the convent told NBC10's Doug Shimell that it was the community that really helped them solve the case.
A 26-year-old South Philadelphia man was arrested Monday and accused of breaking into St. Gabriel's Convent in the Grays Ferry section of the city twice in 24 hours.
William Hagans was arrested early Monday. Police say he got into the convent through an open window on the morning of Oct. 17 and took money from a nun's purse and a desk drawer.
Hagans returned the next morning, according to investigators, entered the convent through an open window and stole more money. He got away with more than $1,000 between the two break-ins, said investigators.
The incidents put the 11 nuns at St. Gabriel's as well as neighbors of the convent on edge and made them angry.
A nearby private surveillance camera captured video of the suspect leaving the scene and it was released to the media on Friday.
Captain Larry Nodiff of the Philadelphia Police Department told NBC10 they received several tips after that surveillance video aired.
"I have to emphasize that as a result of private video being supplied to the police department and given out to the media through our public affairs office, this male was immediately apprehended," said Nodiff.
Hagans is charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 1.