Two Accused Of Thieving From Monks

( – A man and woman were caught on camera entering a 148-year-old monastery at the Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina last month. Cash collected by the monks to advance their missionary work was stolen during the thieves’ jaunt around the monk’s quarters. Police are hoping the release of surveillance footage featuring the faces of the suspects will allow their eventual arrest.

Students interviewed on campus by members of the press suggested the pair should repent and turn themselves into the police. The monastery is well concealed on the campus, deep within some woods, which made the theft all the more shocking.

The surveillance video shows a man propping open a back door with a wet floor sign board before returning with a female companion. Chief of campus police Andy Leonard called the act “truly reprehensible” highlighting how the monks live a life dedicated to service and helping others.

Police said the pair invaded an administration building while the monks were having dinner and used the meal time to look around and steal cash the monks had used for their work. The pair were eventually seen by the monks who asked them to leave informing them that no one was supposed to be in the building. They didn’t realize the theft had occurred until afterward. It’s unclear if anything else was stolen; police are continuing the investigation.

Leonard suggested the couple was familiar with the area and the building since they seemed to know where some of the cameras were and attempted to conceal their faces.

Theft has become increasingly common in the post pandemic period as thievery has become a way some people use to increase their income. Major cities and retailers have frequently felt the sting of theft. This case is unique in that that pair was so bold as to steal from monks who have taken a vow of poverty. All the money they bring in goes to advance their charity work.

Police are asking the public to help identify the suspects and anyone who believes they have additional information can reach local police at 704-400-6200.

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