LAS VEGAS -- Talk about unholy deeds: Somebody is breaking the lock on the donation box inside a historic Santa Fe, N.M., mission and stealing more than just the congregation’s good will.
And not just once.
In the fourth theft at the Santuario de Guadalupe in the last six months, a thief pried open the tiny wooden box holding donations and made off with the cash inside. Not long ago, someone broke through several iron bars in the back of the little church, smashed a window and made off with two wooden crosses.
The break-ins have church officials scratching their heads – and praying.
The Rev. Tien-Tri Nguyen told Santa Fe television station KRQE-TV that the shrine is in desperate need of a security upgrade, but that officials don’t have the money in their budget. He said the church had changed the lock on the donation box, but that the thief or thieves keep returning.
The shrine, located near historic downtown Santa Fe, was built in 1795 and is the oldest church in the nation honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe – visited by faithful from all over the world.