Chief James McIntyre
47 Central Street
Stoneham, MA 02180-2044
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Stoneham Police Arrest Church Collection Box Thief
STONEHAM — Police Chief James McIntyre reports that the Stoneham Police Department arrested the man who allegedly stole cash from St. Patrick’s Parish on at least one occasion.
JOHN ANDREW McHALE, AGE 51, OF CAMBRIDGE is charged with:
- Breaking into a Depository
- Malicious or Wanton Damage of Property
- Larceny from a Building
- Possession of a Burglarious Instrument
On Feb. 20, Stoneham Police responded to the Roman Catholic church for a report of a larceny. Upon arrival, a police officer was met by the church janitor who reported that earlier that day, at about 11:40 a.m., he witnessed a man use a large screwdriver to pry open the locked money box and remove cash from a prayer stand. The janitor yelled at the man, followed him outside, and took multiple photos of the alleged thief. The suspect fled, and the janitor called the police.
A similar incident occurred at the same church in October, and the investigation remains ongoing.
After the February incident, Stoneham police released a description and photos of the suspect to the public. Through an investigation, which included tips from the public, Stoneham Police were able to identify the suspect as McHALE.
Stoneham Police, with assistance from the Lynn Police Department, arrested McHALE this afternoon in Lynn.
McHALE was transported to the Stoneham Police Department for booking. He is also the suspect of a break-in Cambridge and is being held on a warrant out of Cambridge District Court for Breaking and Entering at Nighttime for Felony and Larceny Over $250.
“I want to extend a huge thank you to the Cambridge and Lynn Police Departments for the information they provided Stoneham Police during our investigation and their assistance during today’s arrest,” Chief McIntyre said. “Through this collaboration we were able to quickly identify, locate and arrest this suspect.”
Chief McIntyre also wishes to thank members of the public for coming forward with tips that helped lead to the arrest of this suspect.
McHALE is being held on $100,000 cash bail pending arraignment at Woburn District Court on Thursday.
These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.