Only hours after parishioners gathered to watch Pope Francis celebrate Sunday Mass, someone broke into their New Jersey church and stole money that was intended for the poor, police said.
The crime happened in the early morning hours on Monday, Sept. 28, at Saint Joseph’s Church on Hooper Avenue in Toms River.
The Toms River Police Department says the vandal or vandals broke into the church and entered the main area.
Once inside, police say that several collection boxes that contained cash donations for the poor were broken open.
The suspects also broke apart a wooden memorial candle stand, police say. The vandals caused several thousand dollars in damage.
The amount of money stolen was not immediately known.
The crime happened several hours after the church held a special service to show Pope Francis’ open-air Mass in Philadelphia.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Robert O’Neill at 732-349-0150 extension 1255.