Alleged church burglar arraigned in Hempstead
A man accused of burglarizing churches across Long Island was arraigned in Hempstead Wednesday.
In surveillance video from inside St. Anne's Church in Garden City, a man is shown stealing from the collection box. After News 12 aired the exclusive video last month, police say someone called with a tip that eventually led to the arrest of William Hepworth.
Police say Hepworth, 48, hit a total of 13 churches from Sept. 1 to Nov. 10. They say he would pry his way into the poor boxes during his burglaries.
News 12 first told viewers about Hepworth in 1997 when he was arrested on burglary charges. He was arrested again in 2002 when police say he was involved in a string of church burglaries in Suffolk County.
Garden City police say Hepworth is homeless and living in his car, and that it's believed he has been stealing to finance a crack habit.
According to court papers, one of the churches Hepworth allegedly burglarized in this most recent crime spree was the same one in Hicksville that he burglarized in 1997.
He was held on $140,000 bail. He will be back in court on Friday.