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Priest Tackles Intruder, Foils Theft

A Roman Catholic priest tackled a teenage boy he found rummaging through a church rectory Tuesday, foiling a theft attempt, police said.
( [email protected] ) Dec 27, 2006 02:53 PM EST

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest tackled a teenage boy he found rummaging through a church rectory Tuesday, foiling a theft attempt, police said. The intruder and another man escaped briefly. But police officers used a description by the Rev. Noah Casey to track and arrest them.

Casey confronted the intruders about 1:30 a.m. when he found them inside an office at the rectory of St. John's Catholic Church, across the street from the RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis, police said.

"Once the individuals saw the priest, they attempted to get out through the window. One succeeded in doing that, but as the second individual tried to do that, the priest caught him and tackled him," said Capt. Doug Scheffel of Marion County Sheriff's Department.

Both escaped, but Casey gave officers their description. A police dog tracked them to a nearby hotel where two men matching the priest's description were found inside a room that was supposed to be vacant, a police report said.

Police said Richard J. Todd, 19, of Lakeland, Fla., and a 16-year-old boy stole computer equipment and cell phones from the church.

Todd was being held in Marion County Jail on preliminary charges of burglary, theft and residential entry, and the boy was being charged as a juvenile.

Church staff were trying to determine whether anything else was missing.

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