, Salem, MA

June 26, 2013

Police nab suspect in church breaks

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — SALEM — Police say they’ve arrested the man responsible for stealing about $200 during a break-in at the Wesley United Methodist Church earlier this month.

Kristian A. Morales, 33, of 15 Heritage Drive, Salem, was arrested around 9 a.m. yesterday morning on a warrant with charges of breaking and entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony and malicious damage over $250, an officer said.

A pastor at the 8 North St. church reported on June 2 that somebody had broken into the building overnight via a side door and then smashed a glass window leading to the pastor’s office.

The suspect — who the pastor said was likely Morales — then broke into a church-shaped charity box and made off with cash, according to the log. Nothing else was reported missing.

An investigating detective recovered a piece of glass with a bloodstain from the scene.

Morales is also a suspect in two previous break-ins at the same church during which money was stolen from the church’s restoration fund, according to the log.