Car break-in at church caught on camera

January 4, 2012 7:52:09 PM PST
A truck break-in occurred outside a church in north Houston, and it was all caught on camera. A man was attacked trying to stop the thieves. Now, people at the church hope the video will help police find them.

The pastor at Saint Charles Borromeo Church off Tidwell sent us the video through iWitness Reports powered by YouTube. People at the church say this isn't the first time crooks have hit their parking lot.

Police say at least eight break-ins have occurred in the parking lot in 2011. The latest theft happened just the day after Christmas.

Father Miguel Solorzano is frustrated that several of his parishioners have become crime victims while attending Mass.

"It was like noon on the day after Christmas, the last incident," he said.

The latest crime was caught on surveillance video. A light-colored Ford Taurus can be seen pulling into the church parking lot. A thief comes out and breaks into the truck but that's not all.

"Like just for this individual is scary, for this man," Solorzano said.

Father Solorzano shows us how the truck's owner walks to his vehicle, trying to stop the break-in, only to have the thieves hit him, take his jacket, and then drive off.

"I was hoping that we can catch that individual with that camera," he said.

The Taurus used has no obvious license plate, so despite security cameras there's been no arrests -- just multiple break-ins.

Maria Ramirez says her husband's car was broken into while they were praying inside.

"You know it's supposed to be a safe place, it's a church. You come to pray, you don't think somebody is going to break into your car," Ramirez said.

And last July, the parish's surveillance camera caught the same car in the parking lot at night. Most times the cars were just broken into, but this most recent crime involved a parishioner and that raises concerns.

Father Solorzano says they already have a fence, cameras and even hired police officers; they simply don't know what else to do to catch the bad guys.

"Pray that when you come out, the car is still here," Solorzano said.

Parishioners believe the suspects are from the neighborhood because they've hit the church several times and seem to be familiar with the parishioners' schedules. But more than anything, they're hoping someone will recognize the bad guys and turn them in to police.