Security guards allegedly stole $100K from church
London, April 30, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Two security guards have been accused of stealing as much as $100,000 in cash collections from Holy Name Church in Chicago, according to reports.
Jarrell Patterson, 22, and Artemio Calderon, 25, were caught on video several times allegedly using a key to enter the church and unlocking a safe containing the dough, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The two men worked for Monterrey Security, which handles security for the church, for the past six years.
They were charged Sunday with one felony count each of burglary, police said.
It’s believed they swiped between $88,000 and $100,000 in collections, though detectives are still working on determining the exact amount.
Red flags went up when an audit revealed that weekend collections were off, a church spokeswoman told the Tribune.
The church was expected to rake in about $40,000 a week — or $2 million a year — but was recording shortfalls of between $15 and $5,000, according to its website.
“While researching a shortfall in offertory collections, the leadership of Holy Name Cathedral discovered evidence of repeated criminal trespass at the Cathedral offices,” the Rev. Gregory Sakowicz told parishioners in an April 24 email.
The donations are collected in baskets during Mass, transferred to a sealed bag and kept in a locked room before being deposited at a bank.
On the night of April 15, a church worker reported seeing two men in the area of the church not open to the public, a police report said.
The men were caught on surveillance entering that same area six times between April and March and using a keypad to go inside a locked room.
Patterson was fired in January while Calderon was still employed at the time of the police report.
“When it was brought to our attention by our client that a security guard allowed an unauthorized person into an unauthorized area of the building, we terminated him immediately,” Monterrey said in a statement. “We have zero tolerance for the breaching of any protocols and will take immediate steps to remedy them.”
The church, which is under nonstop camera surveillance, is the seat of the Archdiocese of Chicago, one of the largest Roman Catholic dioceses in the country.