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FDLE: Remaining suspects arrested in group accused of stealing church donation checks

Crime ring stole checks from more than 600 churches nationwide, investigators say

Group accused of stealing donation checks from local churches, others across Florida
Group accused of stealing donation checks from local churches, others across Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man and woman who were still wanted as part of a police operation called “Thou Shalt Not Steal” have been taken into custody, according to a news release Thursday from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The news release states that Catalin Trandafir and Simona Trandafir were taken into custody Saturday in Tijuana, Mexico. Both had been wanted following the arrest of four others accused of stealing donations from hundreds of churches.

RELATED: Group accused of stealing donation checks from local churches, others across Florida

The News4Jax I-TEAM confirmed that 15 houses of worship and a school in Northeast Florida have been named as victims in the scheme. The FDLE has said the ring stole checks from more than 600 churches, taking $740,000 out of church mailboxes.

According to FDLE, churches in Mandarin, Baymeadows, Arlington, the beaches, the northside, and in Gainesville were all victims. Thefts from these alone added up to more than $67,000.

If you haven’t been notified about the crimes, an FDLE spokesperson said it will be in contact with you. You can call FDLE’s Fort Myers office as well at 800-407-4880 and they’ll put in touch with an agent on the case.