Parolee suspected in church thefts

[UPDATED] Police have identified a parolee who they say stole at least $6,000 in donations made to Catholic churches in Glendale and Burbank.

Peter Galindro, who also goes by Paul Galindro, was identified from surveillance video as the man who recently stole $400 from a Haiti relief offering box from Holy Family Catholic Church in the 200 block of East Lomita Avenue in Glendale, police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

[UPDATE: Peter Manuel Galindro, 52, was apprehended at his mother's home in Downey by a law-enforcement task force. He is on parole for burglary, Lorenz said. L.A. NOW]

Police urged the public to call authorities if they see Galindro, who is on parole for a burglary conviction.

"We do not suspect that he would be violent, but with the fact that we now know he is a parolee, you never know what he may do in order to prevent apprehension and going back to state prison," Lorenz said.

Galindro is also suspected of stealing at least $5,000 in donations made to St. Finbar's Catholic Church in Burbank.

Video surveillance from the church burglary helped police identify Galindro, police said.

During that burglary, a church employee had placed the donations in her vehicle midday Sept. 7 when a man ran up, opened the car door, grabbed the money bag and fled, according to Burbank police reports.

Police said the loss was more than $5,000 in cash and personal checks.

Galindro struck again at Holy Family, police said.

Church officials told police they had seen him often around Holy Family, and that he often rode a dark-colored beach cruiser with a silver basket.

On Dec. 27, a group of parishioners allegedly saw Galindro enter the church and turn over the large donation box that contained hundreds of dollars meant for the poor before fleeing that area.

Church officials told police he may have stolen up to $1,000 from donation boxes over the course of the month, Lorenz said.

Since the theft, church officials have received about two large donations, said Bill Evans, Holy Family's facilities director, although he didn't know their amounts.

"The congregation is still a little bit upset about the whole thing," he said.

Evans reviewed photos of Galindro and confirmed he was the alleged thief.

Lorenz said Galindro has a history of run-ins with Downey, Los Angeles and South Gate police.

"If you see him, especially in the act, call 911," he said.

Anyone with details about Galindro's whereabouts may call the Glendale Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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