, Salem, MA

Local News

January 28, 2014

Man steals from pastor's wife who tried to help him


Soon after the 12:48 p.m. incident, police issued a bulletin for a white man in his mid-30s, about 5 feet 9, with a medium build and dark beard. He was wearing a brown coat and brown pants.

As of yesterday, no arrests had been made.

Police see a lot of these petty crimes, but this one struck a nerve, an officer said.

“I take it personal,” said Patrolman Mike Levesque, who responded to the church Sunday and is investigating the case. “All the officers here take these type of things personally.”

It was a small crime in monetary terms but time-consuming for Joy Morris, a part-time guidance counselor at a Catholic grammar school. She was busy yesterday changing credit cards and securing a new driver’s license.

This is not the first time someone has come to the church door looking for a handout.

“Somebody will wander in from the streets,” the Rev. Morris said. “We try never to say no, yet at the same time, we know they’re giving us a story. ... I’m sure every church gets this sometimes.”

Although it has only a few members, the Ukrainian Catholic church is involved in a number of charitable activities. Currently, it is collecting food for the North Shore Moving Market, a food delivery program for home-bound and handicapped people.

“We try to contribute to different things around town,” Morris said.

Tom Dalton can be reached at

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