Police in Northamptonshire have revealed how the arrest of a man seen acting suspiciously at a church led to the discovery of an elaborate string of thefts targeting places of worship.
Stefan Bodnarczuk, 55, has now been jailed for 20 months for stealing tens of thousands of pounds from church donation boxes across three counties.
He was arrested at Fotheringhay church in May 2013 after a member of the public spoke to police about a man seen acting strangely.
Detectives from the Northamptonshire force’s financial crime team then conducted an investigation which led to the discovery of home-made tools used to lift coins from the donation boxes, and detailed diaries about each of his crimes listing everything from the name of the church and date of the theft to the amount of petrol he filled his car with.
Over six years, he stole more than £37,000 from churches in Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire and West Yorkshire.
Stuart Leithes reports.