BELL GARDENS ( — Police need your help catching a thief caught on camera stealing from a church in Bell Gardens last month.

On June 15, a man entered St. Gertrudes Church at 7025 Garfield Avenue through an exit door.

Once inside, the burglar broke open a locked wooden box containing donations meant for the poor and stole an unknown amount of cash, according to the Bell Gardens Police Department.

The suspect even got on his knees and pretended he was praying to blend it, police said.

church theft 1 Man Wanted For Stealing Cash From Bell Gardens Church

(credit: Bell Gardens Police Department)

The cash box was located in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel inside the church.

When he was done stuffing the cash into his backpack, he made the sign of the cross.

“If you’re going to take something like that and still have the nerve to kneel and pray and do the sign of the cross, it’s mocking what we believe in,” parishioner Krystal Ledezma said.

“If they’re in need, they can always speak to the Father. And if he can help them, he would,” parishioner Esther Luna said.

“So if the person needs money for food or their children or even their home, the church will give money,” parishioner Cruz Romero said.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to email Det. Don Leuschen at


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