Think an armed thug who points a gun at Catholic priests and demands they empty their pockets is like taking candy from a baby?
Authorities say two priests were walking the grounds of the St. Helen Catholic Church in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., when two men approached them. After asking the priests if they knew the location of the nearest bank, one of the men took out a gun and pointed it at the priests.
But one of the priests refused to get down or hand over his belongings, according to WFOR-TV, and even said “shoot me” to the gun-wielding suspect.
“You’ve definitely hit a new low when you’ll rob two priests in front of a church and have no remorse about it,” said Keyla Concepcion of Broward Sheriff’s Office.
“Luckily in this instance nothing happened to him, but it’s definitely not something we would recommend. It’s not worth you challenging an armed man and potentially losing your life over just a few belongings.”
The robbers took the priests’ cell phones, money, and other valuables, jumped a fence, and vanished, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
It’s not clear if the reportedly defiant priest finally let the robbers have what they demanded, but authorities are offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to their capture.
The holdup occurred about 10 p.m. July 18 while one priest was giving a visiting priest a tour of the church grounds. Information about the crime as well as a related surveillance video was released Friday.
According to WFOR, the sheriff’s office describes the two suspects as black males. One is about 5’7” in his late 20s or early 30s. His accomplice is about 6’, heavy-set, and wearing a black shirt with a white stripe. The driver of the getaway car is seen in the video walking around the passenger side and is described as heavy-set with hair down to the small of her back. She was wearing long pants, a dark-colored shirt, and a white cardigan or sweatshirt.
Surveillance video shows two men prowling the area prior to the robbery and afterward running toward an awaiting SUV, jumping into the backseat and speeding away.
The following surveillance video captures the incident from start to finish. About 30 seconds in, the getaway car enters the lot and parks; at about the 4-minute mark the two suspects scale a fence; and from about the 5-minute mark to the end, you can see movement far in the background, which is the holdup, and the two suspects flee back to the car, which pulls away: