CROWN POINT | Police are seeking a 22-year-old man believed responsible for stealing money from the Sunday collection basket at St. Mary Catholic Church in Crown Point.
Dustin Gertz, of Crown Point, was charged Thursday by the Lake County prosecutor's office with theft and burglary in connection with the Oct. 7 incident.
The empty collection basket was found by church personnel after Mass, police said.
Surveillance video showed the suspect later identified as Gertz enter the church during services and leave with a bag containing the collected donations, police said.
A sack full of checks made out to the church was located in a Dumpster behind a fast-food restaurant in Dolton by Crown Point police acting on information obtained in their investigation, police said. Cash had been removed from the bag.
The sack was found wrapped in a robe taken from the church, 321 E. Joliet St., police said.
Personal checks found in the sack were returned to the church, police said.
Gertz remained at large on Friday, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call (219) 663-2131, ext. 129.