Inwood man charged after allegedly stealing wallet in church

Posted: Updated:
INWOOD -

An Inwood man was charged Saturday with trying to steal money from a church offering box and taking the wallet of a church caretaker. 

Police say when Ernesto Rodriguez, 52, realized the donation box at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church on Wanser Avenue was empty, he went to the basement and stole a church caretaker's wallet. The alleged theft took place on Thursday. 

In court, attorneys said Rodriguez lives in a group home for people with mental disabilities. They say he suffers from schizophrenia and has a drug and alcohol problem. 

It was also revealed that Rodriguez has been arrested more than 10 times, including for burglary.

Rodriguez was charged with grand larceny and petit larceny. He's being held on $10,000 bond and is due back in court Tuesday.

Priests at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church had no comment for News 12. Some parishioners said they forgive Rodriguez and hope he gets help.

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