MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Marion County deputies arrested a church usher after they said he was caught on surveillance stealing money from the offering baskets.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office received a call from Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in reference to suspicions one of their volunteer ushers was stealing from the church's offering baskets.
Detectives placed video surveillance in the church, which caught Mario Condis, 60, stealing money and shoving it in his pockets while the congregation was praying with heads bowed and eyes closed, according to deputies.
Video surveillance was set up in several services and Condis stole from the basket during each mass, MCSO said.
Detectives staged themselves around the church on Sunday to watch Condis during the Spanish mass.
During the prayer, detectives said they saw Condis stealing money from the offering baskets and placing the money in his pockets. When he approached the church altar, detectives escorted him out of the church and took him into custody.
Investigators recovered $349.05 from Condis' pockets, according to deputies.
Condis denied his involvement in the theft and claimed the money belonged to him.
When detectives questioned him further, Condis said he was in the process of putting the money back at the altar before detectives took him into custody, deputies said.
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.