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Hillsboro church out thousands of dollars after theft

<i></i><br/>Saint Matthew Catholic Church is out thousands of dollars of donations following a theft. The church says based on the evidence

Saint Matthew Catholic Church is out thousands of dollars of donations following a theft. The church says based on the evidence

By Jeffrey Lindblom

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    HILLSBORO, Oregon (KPTV) — A Hillsboro church is out thousands of dollars of donations following a theft. To make matters worse, the church says based on the evidence, it appears to be involving someone who knew exactly where to find the money.

The church is also cautioning those who donated to them to keep an eye on their bank accounts.

In an interview conducted by Telemundo, Oscar Rodriguez, who serves as a missionary at Saint Matthew Catholic Church, said “someone came into the church and stole thousands of dollars from our Sunday collection.”

It started when someone working at the church noticed money was missing from the cabinet that they store their donations in. Puzzled, the worker called the priest, Father Juan.

“He came by, and we were looking for the money,” Rodriguez explained. “We didn’t see it. It wasn’t there.”

Rodriguez believes it was Sunday afternoon when someone came by and swiped thousands of dollars’ worth of donations. Hillsboro police said there were no signs of forced entry, which is why Rodriguez thinks the culprit knew exactly when to come and where to go.

“Whoever did this is someone who knew what they were doing. They knew where the money was,” he said, “and they came by at a point when there was no activity, and they took the money.”

He said the money that was stolen belongs to the community and is used for a variety of things, which include keeping the church afloat.

“It’s not used for the priests,” Rodriguez said, “or something like that. It belongs to the whole community. It’s the money we use to pay for faith formation for our youngest to our oldest provisioners. It’s the money we use to support our ministries that serve the poor, that serve those who are in need. It’s the money we use to pay the bills, the electricity bill to keep the church going.”

Police say right now there are no suspects and couldn’t confirm what exactly was stolen. However, it is being called an open and active investigation.

The church is urging those who donated on Sunday, especially those who wrote checks, to keep an eye on their bank accounts as information could have wound up in the wrong hands.

Rodriguez said if you do notice a check was deposited, to get in touch with your bank quickly. Also, he said it would be beneficial to let the church know so they can contact the police and help with the investigation.

Rodriguez is also asking those with any information about what might have happened to come forward in hopes to find out where the stolen money may have gone.

“It’s money that belongs to the community,” he said. “I hope that this event doesn’t cause division, but we can remain united and continue supporting each other and find ways to keep each other safe.”

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