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Police Arrest Man for Christmas Day Church Robbery

Police have arrested a man in the brazen Christmas Day theft of thousands of dollars in donations from a church. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
( [email protected] ) Dec 28, 2006 02:35 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) - Police have arrested a man in the brazen Christmas Day theft of thousands of dollars in donations from a church.

Daniel Morales, of Brooklyn, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of burglary and grand larceny, prosecutors said. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. His bail was set at $50,000.

His attorney, Stuart Tarshis, didn’t immediately return a telephone message left at his office after the arraignment.

Christmas services were under way at St. Mel’s Roman Catholic Church in Queens on Monday when thieves broke in and stole between $20,000 and $30,000 from a safe. The money, some of it checks, had been donated to benefit needy children, the church said.

The crooks fled in a sport utility vehicle. A parishioner saw the getaway and wrote down the SUV’s license plate number.

Morales, 26, was arrested Tuesday night on charges of burglary, police said. Another suspect was being sought.

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