June 8, 2010 Wayland, MA – Two church workers have been charged with stealing from two parishes and police say both apparently thought they were working alone.
The Archdiocese of Boston contacted Wayland police last Thursday concerned that someone was possibly stealing money from the weekly collections at St. Zepherin’s and St. Ann’s churches.
After a weekend investigation, police arrested two employees – custodian John Inferrere and religious education director Marjory O’Day.
Investigators say both were caught with money that was stolen from the collections.
Ironically, police say, even though both Inferrere and O’Day were stealing money from the same source, the thefts are not related because it appears they were not aware of each other’s actions.
Police say the church’s custodian told them his wife lost her job about a year ago last October, that he’d been taking money out of the church’s safe since last February, converting $10’s and $20’s into $100’s and had 17 $100 bills in his wallet when he was arrested.
Police say O’Day denied stealing the three hundred-dollar packets in her handbag when she was arrested, but the archdiocese had hired a security firm that caught her and Inferrere with a surveillance camera and marked bills.
“And the marked monies were found on each of them during the investigation,” said Gerard Leone, Middlesex County District Attorney.
There was no answer at the custodian’s home down the street from the church.
A spokesman for the archdiocese issued a statement that says, in part: “We pray for all involved in this unfortunate situation including the employees who are now at the center of this investigation and facing serious legal consequences.”
“I think it’s extremely sad that when you have an organization like a church that places a premium and dependence on faith and trust, that you have an extreme violation of that faith and trust,” commented Leone. The church is still trying to determine how much money was stolen.
The employees, who have worked for the parishes a number of years, have been placed on unpaid administrative leave.