A church usher is being accused of theft after being secretly recorded stealing tithe money from the Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Ocala, Florida, according to police.
Detectives with the Marion County Sheriff's Office arrested Mario Condis, 60, on Sunday, after video reportedly showed him taking money from an offering plate and stuffing it into his pants pocket.
Watch what happens 40 seconds into the clip below:
CHURCH USHER ARRESTED FOR STEALING MONEY FROM OFFERING PLATES
CHURCH USHER ARRESTED FOR STEALING MONEY FROM OFFERING PLATESMarion County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) deputies received a call for service from officials at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in reference to suspicions that one of their volunteer ushers was stealing from the church's offering baskets. MCSO Property Crimes detectives placed video surveillance in the church, which caught volunteer usher Mario Condis (W/M, 05/05/1955) stealing money from the offering baskets and shoving it in his pockets while the congregation had their eyes closed and heads bowed while praying. Video surveillance was set up in several services and Condis was observed committing these same actions during each mass.On Sunday, November 8th, MCSO detectives staged themselves around the church to watch Condis during the Spanish mass. During the prayer, Condis was observed by detectives and on surveillance video stealing money from the offering baskets and placing the money in his pockets. When Condis approached the church altar, detectives made contact with him, escorted him out of the church and took him into custody.Detectives recovered a total of $349.05 from Condis's pockets. When asked about where he got the money, Condis denied his involvement in the theft and claimed the money to be his. When detectives questioned him further, Condis said that he was in the process of putting the money back at the altar before detectives took him into custody.Condis was arrested and charged with one count of grand theft and three counts of petit theft. He posted his $3,500 bond Sunday evening and was released from the Marion County Jail.Posted by Marion County Sheriff's Office on Monday, November 9, 2015
According to a statement from the sheriff's office, Condis snatched the money "while the congregation had their eyes closed and heads bowed while praying," with authorities claiming that the act unfolded during more than one mass.
Cameras were placed inside Blessed Trinity Catholic Church after church officials contacted police with suspicions that an usher was pocketing money.
When authorities began to investigate, they said that they caught Condis red-handed, WKMG-TV reported.
When police approached Condis on Sunday, they claim that he had $349.05 in his pockets.
"When asked about where he got the money, Condis denied his involvement in the theft and claimed the money to be his," read a statement posted to Facebook. "When detectives questioned him further, Condis said that he was in the process of putting the money back at the altar before detectives took him into custody."
He was arrested and charged with one count of grand theft and three counts of petit theft, and was released on Sunday evening on $3,500 bond.