Orlando, Florida – Having clear rules for the ushers after the offering is taken may have stopped Mario Condis from dipping his hand into the offering plate last week.

In a good example of a local church and local PD working together, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and The Blessed Trinity Catholic Church teamed up to catch a thief in their midst.

When church leaders noticed a dip in the weekly offering, they suspected someone was helping themselves to the offering plate.

Sheriff’s detectives set up a surveillance camera and watched suspect Mario Condis taking money from the offering baskets in the amount of $350.00 as church members bowed their heads in prayer.

In our book Church Security Basics, we discuss the importance of churches, as good stewards, setting up controls to make sure nobody is tempted or allowed to take money from the plate during offering.

One suggestion is for all the ushers to meet immediately after taking offering, combining the money, and for two or three people to immediately take it to the location of the church safe to be secured.  A seperate team of people can then count the money at a later time in a secure location before it is picked up by an armored car service or taken to the bank by security personnel.

After watching Condis take the money, the deputies approached him as he walked to the altar, and escorted him out of the service without incident. He was arrested and charged with theft and was being held on $3,500 bond. Check out the act caught on video below:

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