Man accused of stealing from Suffern church



Police say Walter Hand stole a gold vessel from Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Suffern.

Police say Walter Hand stole a gold vessel from Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Suffern. (5/11/16)

SUFFERN - Police in Suffern say they arrested a man for allegedly stealing a religious item from a church.

Authorities accuse Walter Hand, 53, of taking a gold-plated container off of the altar at Sacred Heart Catholic Church last Friday.

The container is used to hold the Eucharist, the consecrated bread that is central to Catholic Mass.

"We are familiar with this person, but to my knowledge, he's never done that before," says Monsignor Joseph Giandurco.

Police say they used surveillance video to identify Hand.

Hand faces several charges including burglary and grand larceny. He is due in court on Thursday.

Investigators say they recovered the container from Hand's bedroom.

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