MILWAUKEE -- Thou shalt not steal; that's one commandment a Milwaukee man clearly ignored when he targeted a church on the city's south side -- cutting the chain on a fence and slipping onto the property. He was later seen in surveillance video leaving with an 80-pound ladder.
"No regard at all for anyone else's property," said Abbe George Baird.
Baird, a cleric at St. Stanislaus Church, said the incident Monday night, Aug. 5 wasn't the only theft caught on camera. A man was captured walking in front of the church's adjacent school with another ladder, leaving contractors high and dry.
"All of the contractors were actually up working on the scaffolding, and the thief came by and grabbed the ladder while they were working above, and just walked away with it," Baird said.
Thefts have been happening over three weeks, amid restoration work at the church near 5th and Mitchell.
"Someone had broken into one of their equipment boxes and stole saws and other equipment," said Baird.
Baird said the heists dipped into the money allotted for the pricey project.
"Fundraising money to put a new roof on the church because it's leaking is difficult enough, but now, you have to go ahead and put security cameras, and have to hire security people to go ahead and watch the project and watch the building," Baird said.
Baird said these crimes weren't just disappointing from a monetary standpoint, but also, a moral one.
"Any theft is bad, but to go ahead and steal from the school and from the church where we put into the community, they are just robbing from the community. It's just very sad," Baird said.