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July 22nd, 2010
10:28 AM ET

Police: Crucifix used to pry open poor box

CNN's Kelly Marshall reports on this bizarre burglary in Florida:

A man was charged with burglary Wednesday after police said he broke into a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, church with an unusual tool - a crucifix.

George Horn allegedly broke into the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on the night of June 26. Fort Lauderdale police say the 48-year-old suspect broke a window to enter the church, took a crucifix from the church’s altar and then used it to pry open a donation box.

The suspect, who was caught on surveillance video, cut himself at some point, leaving a large amount of blood behind, police said. (A photo from the surveillance video is above.)

It is not known how much money was in the box. Horn is in custody.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Church

soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. lista otto

    Fantastic web site. A lot of helpful information here. I'm sending it to several pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you on your effort!

    November 23, 2012 at 4:06 am |
  2. Russ

    Two words: rubber crucifixes.

    He shouldn't be stealing. That's the church's job.

    If he wanted something long and hard to break into that poor box, all he had to do is wait for the priest to show up with an altar boy while they were comparing holy cards.

    Considering that this church had a security camera, it must have been the Ronald Reagan Catholic Church. Motto, AFFIRMO QUIS TU FIDES (Trust But Verify).

    I got a million of 'em.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  3. HeIsGod

    He cut himself and left a large amount of blood...ha, ha, ha, ha!!!! That's what he gets for being evil! It must have been an Athiest or an Agnostic. THE WICKED SHALL GO UNPUNISHED, SAITH THE LORD!!!

    I am not a Catholic, but I will not respect fools that attack religion, God, and His chosen people!

    July 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Correction:
      "THE WICKED SHALL NOT GO UNPUNISHED!"

      July 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • dalis

      No, you're not any kind of Christian at all. If you were, you wouldn't sadistically laugh at a child of God injuring himself. You'd have pity.

      July 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • Noquestion

      The wicked xtians usually go unpunished, yes.

      July 23, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  4. Gary

    tThis story is proof that religion is religion is entirely man made and all religious symbols have no bearing in real life except to be used as a hand tool

    July 23, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  5. Tom Medzer

    For the enlightenment of the Catholic bashers who are having a feeding frenzy with this story, Roman Catholics as a Christian denomination number over 1 billion, which is 50% of all Christians. Because of their sheer size, there is a disproportionate emphasis in the media of their numerous failures, transgressions ;and scandals. The assertion that the Roman Catholic faith is evil is beyond offensive.

    Now, if we take the other billion Christians and lump them together into a single denomination, how many Jimmy Swaggart's, Jimmy Bakker, Paul Crouch's and other perverted and corrupt ministers and leaders of the 100's of other Christian denominations could we flush out? Anybody want to add some names and scandals? In any case, none of this exculpates the Poor Box thief.

    July 23, 2010 at 11:15 am |
    • Gary

      Tom Medzer not to mention Benny Hinn,Oral Roberts,Jim jones,T.D. Jakes, Pat Robertson,David Koresh, the late and not great Jerry fat boy falwell.

      July 23, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • Joseph MA

      nachoooo libre, would you stop supporting the us gov by going to some other country if and when a government coverup or mistake is/was exposed? If not you are an accomplice as well correct? Very nice logic....

      Fact is mistakes are committed by people in any organization. You try to fix it and move along.

      July 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  6. phillip

    its not the worst story ive heard about stealing, brass urns from a cemetery were stole for the scrap money, my church that i attend had its air conditiong units hacked to bits for the scrap, it didnt make news, the church building has been vandalized many times over, iam sure other religious establishment has their stories, and i dont get shocked anymore about these stories, their just so many, those who do this dont care if it is a place of worship, heck they would probably try to mug Jesus if he was still on earth.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  7. Noble9

    Why didn't the angels strike this guy deaf and dumb?

    July 22, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • Steven

      Short answer: the same reason why the tooth fairy didn't wack him in the head with a tire iron.

      July 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
  8. Steven

    Aren't they supposed to give him some silver and some candle sticks? Wait, that's Les Miserables. Nevermind.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
  9. Hypocrites

    1) What are the surveillance cameras for if they are not trying to prevent theft?
    2) How many churches do you think I could walk into and steal their entire offering plate without being apprehended?
    3) How many christians do you know who would follow this rule if someone stole their wallet or car? I would guess very near zero.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  10. Alexander

    What would Jesus do? Let me guess. According to most Christians, he would vigorously press charges against the thief, saying, "Justice must triumph over mercy. You chose to do evil. Now you must pay the price." And he, being the true authority in the case, would be the first to cast a stone, being the sinless one. He would then smile with approval as his followers executed the sentence of the law upon the thief. Such is the American Jesus. I bet the Church will follow his example and throw The Book at this guy! Off to prison with him in the name of JESUS!

    July 22, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      You mean he might act like Pope John Paul II who personally intervened with Italian authorities to gain the release and pardon of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who sought to kill the Pope in 1981. The Pope, while being rushed to the hospital in the ambulance forgave Mehmet Ali Agca for his attempt to shot and kill him.

      July 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
    • verify

      "...Pope John Paul II who personally intervened with Italian authorities..."

      While not as bad as attempted murder, using his *authority* to pressure government is criminal too. He could forgive Agca in his *heart* all he wanted, but to obstruct civil law, no.

      July 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  11. Phillip

    To those who said as one here did, that the Church should sell all of its property and artwork and give it to the poor, I have to ask, why haven't you sold your house and land, if you have any? Your car? Computer, 50-inch screen TV? Stocks, bonds, jewelry, paintings you have in your house? I'm not a Catholic, but I know the Church is one of the most charitable organizations in the world. Their charities are among the first on disaster scenes, with Red Cross and others. You could take everything the Church has and you wouldn't make a dent in poverty. Feed the world for what, a day, a week maybe (and that is doubtful)? The Church has been helping the poor, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, educating the uneducated (where do you think universities came from?), to its own financial harm, for years. The Pope doesn't own his own jet. The Church had to outsource the renovation of the Sistine Chapel to a Japanese company and license rights to it (you can't take pictures in there because of that)...the Church cannot even afford to renovate its own artwork. It has operated on a deficit for years now, and this is just the Vatican. As someone pointed out, each diocese and archdiocese is financially independent and self-sustaining. I guarantee, though, that had it been a Buddhist temple that was robbed, an outpouring of grief and lament would follow, maybe even asking the community to help pay for restoration of the temple and its religious items if needed. People would crucify the Pope given the chance, but with all respect to my Buddhist friends, the Dalai Lama uses millions of dollars donated to help the poor "Tibetan people", for his own political agendas, money embezzled by his own brother even, and many genuinely consider him a "holy man" above reproach. I was as horrified as the next person when the Taliban demolished the statues of the Buddha in Afghanistan. Because I appreciate art, of whatever religion or no religion. It is a testimony to the human spirit and divinely-given creativity. Sell it all if you like, but the problems of world hunger and poverty go much deeper, and the price of some land, crucifixes, and paintings isn't going to solve it.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
  12. DanW

    Who said they're demanding it back? Once a crime is committed, it's out of the individual's hands and the state steps in. No where, but no where in the article did it say that the church was asking for the money back. You really need to read the article before you level charges at people.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
  13. Peter Q. Wolfe

    Whoa the entire Story heading lead me to believe that this was going to be a catholic bash fest. You guys don't care that someone commited breaking and entering and stealing from a nonprofit organization like the catholic church. If this was your church or your nonprofit organization, you probably wouldn't talk like this toward the Catholic Church. I'll remind yo9u that lots of the child abuse cases were also done by volunteer workers and lots of priest that commited these crimes are dead. We are talking like twenty or so years ago and it doesn't make it right. However, they are held at a highr standard in eternal judgement as well. They may have escaped mortal punishment but God cannot be escaped from. Uh, you guys are really insaine with some of your anti-christian comments on here.
    I want to point out that the enquisitions were remnants of ancient traditions and not so much the intent of the original church. They are a man made organization flawed and guilty of both good and bad. You guys never acknowledge the parishes's local community help like natural disasters, food pantries, volunteering and etc goign on in your communities. The hospitals and schooling with political advocacy on part of the defenseless mainly the unborn children and for family units (e.g. fending off amoral behavior like homosexuality in marriage). The history of the church like the baptist, mormons and etc are ripe with corruption and etc even till this very day. Look at divorce rates with baptist if you don't agree or their obesity and literacy rates in the deep south. Then, mormons controvercial history with Joseph Smith and polygamy and compannion Bible. Then, pentacostles with their snake tongues that I unfortunately had to partake in out of respect. YOu can also look into various other statistics as well to put down all forms of christianity but this is what the secular atheists want us to do is to divide ourselves to conquerer us.
    Finally, if the catholic church wasn't true right? Then, why is there thousands of denominations of christianity afte rthe schism and the refermation? There has only truly been the latin right within the Roman Catholic Church and an alliance with the eastern left orthadox as well. We also have recorded true miracles like stigmatas and such in the church with great saints and some really good Pope's as well. However, I won't change people's minds about the church cause you guys generalize on all fronts to destroy christianity. The foundation bedrock of western society has been jeopradized out of political correctness and we have conceded too much. Modesty, humility, etc are lost on this godless generation.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
    • phogue

      Non-profit? Are you *%#@ing serious? How many nations' debts could be solved by a garage sale from one room of the Vatican?

      July 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  14. mfb0

    i knew those crossy things were good for something...

    July 22, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
    • dalis

      No, you didn't.

      July 23, 2010 at 1:41 am |
    • Noquestion

      Good for opening paint cans, prying open a stuck window or door. Many uses. Also chasing away vampires, they're allergic to BS.

      July 23, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.