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Video: Thieves target charity, quickly realize they underestimated a 76-year-old nun and the power of prayer
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Video: Thieves target charity, quickly realize they underestimated a 76-year-old nun and the power of prayer

A 76-year-old nun thwarted an attempted robbery at a charity in Buffalo, New York.

In the early hours of Jan. 14, two thieves used a ladder to climb onto the roof of a charity in Buffalo. Thieves targeted the Response to Love Center – a faith-based charity that assists the impoverished in Buffalo. The robbers allegedly wanted to steal copper pipes.

Sister Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz, the director of the center, woke up early to pray. She heard the commotion outside the charity and went to investigate.

Sister Johnice told WKBW-TV, "So, I opened the door and saw a ladder — here's a ladder over here, and I walked out, and I looked up, and said, 'Get out of here. How dare you do this to God's property — this is his mission!'"

The elderly nun summoned all of her strength to yank the ladder off the building, leaving the crooks stranded on the roof.

She told the Buffalo News, "I threw the ladder down, which was huge as could be, and lo and behold, they ran away."

The nun added, "When I took that ladder and knocked it down — I amazed myself when I see it now."

Sister Johnice said she was "fearless" because her "adrenaline was going." The nun noted that she could "feel the evil."

The Response to Love Center shared photos of the suspects on its Facebook, and asked for the public's help to identify the would-be thieves.

The Facebook post called the suspects "morons" because the thieves likely tried to steal copper downspouts from the Response to Love Center. However, the center's downspouts are made of aluminum and "worth only pennies."

Mike Gilhooly, the assistant director at the Response to Love Center, described Sister Johnice as a "tough cookie."

The fearless nun said of the suspects, "But it has to be somebody who's greedy — selfish — somebody who is very broken — I'm sure desperation did it. You know it's only gutters — it's only pipes, but what if it's a life? But God does not want this to be a battlefield for people — a fearful place."

"They could have come here for food or clothing. They could have come for a kind word, some guidance, but they chose a different route," she said. "That is not of God, that is evil. I just wish I could meet them."

Sister Johnice said, "Every day I've been praying for these two thugs."

The nun is keeping the ladder. She calls it "Jacob's ladder," after the story in the Bible about Jacob dreaming about a ladder stretching from heaven to earth.

Last week, "divine intervention" prevented a thief from stealing a St. Michael the Archangel from a church.

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