Man arrested for stealing money from church donation boxes

Church set up surveillance operation to catch man stealing cash

Posted 4/14/21

Bristol Police arrested a North Providence man on Sunday for allegedly stealing money from the St. Elizabeth Church donation box after a successful surveillance operation caught him in the …

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Man arrested for stealing money from church donation boxes

Church set up surveillance operation to catch man stealing cash

Posted

Bristol Police arrested a North Providence man on Sunday for allegedly stealing money from the St. Elizabeth Church donation box after a successful surveillance operation caught him in the act.

Officers were called to the church at approximately 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 11, for a report that a man had just stolen money from the donation boxes inside the Catholic Church. They found Michael W. Hedblom, 47, of North Providence walking outside the church. Patrolman Tyler Carreiro searched him for weapons and said they were investigating a report that Mr. Hedblom had just stolen money from donation boxes inside the church.

Officers then spoke to a church representative who had set up a surveillance system after noticing money missing from the donation boxes since February, including on Easter Sunday.

The church witness said he first emptied the two boxes at the front of the church of their real donations and replaced them with bills totaling $23 that he had inventoried and photographed, including their serial numbers. A short time later, while watching surveillance cameras in the rectory, he saw the man who was considered a suspect park in front of St. Elizabeth’s and enter the church.

He allegedly saw the man use a tool to open two donation boxes and place the money into his left front pants pocket. At that point, Mr. Hedblom allegedly confessed and pulled the stolen money from his pocket. Officers compared the money to the evidence presented by the witness and found they matched.

Mr. Hedblom was placed under arrest. Officers also found three shish kabob skewers and a screwdriver. He was taken to the station, charged with larceny under $1,500 and habitual offender-larceny, arraigned by a justice of the peace and later released.

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