Reporter - Samantha Ptashkin

Jul 30, 2013 9:20 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

Northwest side church burglarized for second time in two years

TUCSON- At a place where people come to pray and share their faith, faith in humanity is now being put to the test.

The Diocese of Tucson tells News 4 Tucson on Sunday night between 10pm and 7am, burglars broke into St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, turned off the electricity, then stole the Sunday collection. "I just think it's pretty sad that somebody has to do that," says Church Member Joe Baio. "It's not human."

Baio is a longtime member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. He says there is nothing lower than stealing from a church. "People are desperate, they don't have any work and they don't have money, so they resort to stealing," Baio says.

"It's very hard to imagine why they would do such a thing because everybody is willing to give," says Church Member Merle Nguyen.

Money from the Sunday collection is used to pay parish staff, maintain church facilities and pay bills. The Diocese of Tucson didn't want News 4 Tucson to share the amount of money stolen, but says it is a significant amount.

And this isn't the first incident at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church.

In May 2011 the church's collection box with money inside was vandalized. Deputy Tracy Suitt of the Pima County Sheriff's Department says they never caught the crook or crooks.

According to the Diocese of Tucson, over the last two years there have been 11 burglaries at six catholic churches across the greater Tucson area.

PCSD is investigating this latest incident. Anyone with information should call 911 or 88-CRIME.

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