Man charged in church break-in

April 23, 2008 2:56:17 PM PDT
A 34-year-old man has been arrested in connection with vandalism at a Long Island church. Police say the associate pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church, located at 24 Westminster Road in West Hempstead, was awakened by the sound of someone banging on a church door. The cleric then saw a male subject climbing through the broken door window and called 911.

Police officers, as well as a canine unit and emergency services union, responded and surrounded the church just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Police say Jayson Blanco, with no known address, was apprehended attempting to flee out a door. Police believe he may be homeless.

Authorities say several interior doors were damaged with the leaded glass windows broken. Further inspection of the church revealed poor boxes were damaged and the contents removed. The take: just $16.

Proceeds were recovered when the suspect was taken into custody.

Blanco is charged with burglary and will be arraigned Thursday.