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New York Times
The morning heist in Flushing, Queens, yesterday seemed too bad to be true.
It happened at the Church of St. Mel during the 9 a.m. Christmas Mass, which was said in Italian. The parishioners had helped fill the safe in the sacristy with something north of $20,000, including money for needy children. The thieves, according to police and witness accounts, opened the safe, and lugged a heavy metal box with the money to a white sport utility vehicle with Vermont license plates.
There are, certainly, much more heinous offenses, especially considering that the collection in the safe consisted mostly of checks that could be stopped, and that the whole amount was insured. But the nerve shown by the thieves made it hard — especially for parishioners who had attended the church for decades — to imagine a worse transgression.