Church gunman robbed 7-year-old of collection $$
The Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in San Fernando. Photo: Dexter Philip
The bandit, pretending to be a believer, swiped hundreds of dollars from the congregation’s offerings at the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church.
A parishioner who was present during the robbery, said members of the congregation were left in shock and disbelief over the crime.
“People screamed when it happened. Some were standing around in shock, some were talking that they couldn’t believe what happened”, the parishioner said.
“It is heart-breaking we have reached to this point. The priest told us to pray for the robber”.
The parishioner said the incident occurred at around 6.45 p.m. after approximately eight collection baskets were passed around the congregation.
The monies from all of the baskets were placed in a bag and was to be taken to the altar when the thief struck. Pretending to be a parishioner, the thief sat in a pew for most of the service before pulling a gun.
“He participated in the service. He sang, he read and kneel down and did everything when he was supposed to. The church often has visitors so no one thought anything suspicious when he wasn’t recognised as a member”, said the parishioner.
Another parishioner posted on social media: “A man enters the church. Sits quietly through the mass and when the little boy finishes picking up the collection in his basket the man gets up and holds him up at gun point. Yes indeed, this poor child was now looking down the barrel of a semi-automatic gun in church for the collection money. If that wasn’t enough the bandit attempted to hit the child with the gun to keep the basket and scurry out of the church with it on foot. Yes folks this is true. This is not one of those Facebook jokes or drama skits. This is real life in T&T!”.
The parishioner continued: “The men in the church made attempts to run down the bandit and the child’s elder brother actually caught up with him outside the church however as he realized he had a gun there was no choice but to let him go, leaving the bandit to run up the main road and take off with the money. His mother looked more traumatised than him. She was crying, holding onto her child outside the church for some time”.
Another witness said: “I was sitting to the front and he held up the boy near the back of the church. I only knew something was happening because I heard screams and commotion. The boy’s father who plays the piano ran to the exit and I saw two other boys running after the man (thief)”.
Following the robbery, the person conducting the mass, who is not the parish priest, sang hymns to calm the congregation, and asked them to pray for the thief.
Social media users have expressed outrage over the incident with some commenting “Oh no! In the church? Madness!”, “Totally new low. No words”, “This is absolutely saddening”, “This place just going from bad to worse. In the house of the Lord..really!”
A similar robbery happened in in October when a thief snatched the collection bag from the St Charles Roman Catholic Church in Tunapuna.
A bag containing the collection money had been placed on the altar, near where a book had been placed for confirmation pupils to sign.
The thief pretended that he was going to sign the book for his son, but instead grabbed the collection bag.
It was after he walked out of the church, parishioners noticed that the bag was missing.
Some members of the congregation went out in search of the suspect, however no one has as yet been held.