Suspect in String of Church Burglaries Is Arrested

The police have arrested a suspect in a string of church burglaries in the northwestern Bronx.

The suspect, Nathaniel Linden, 51, of Webb Avenue in the Bronx, was arrested after a break-in early Sunday at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Philip Neri on the Grand Concourse, the police said. After he was taken in, the police linked him to a second burglary, at the Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Fordham on University Avenue on Dec. 13. His image was captured by surveillance cameras at that location, the police said.

Investigators are reviewing evidence from eight similar burglaries in the area since Nov. 6, in which Mr. Linden is a suspect but has not been charged.

The Rev. Tobias Haller, the vicar at St. James Fordham Episcopal Church, a landmark Gothic Revival church on Jerome Avenue, said the thief who broke into his church on Friday smashed through a Tiffany stained-glass window. He then went for the alms box.

“The collection was for the poor, which also sort of makes it ironic and sad,” Mr. Haller said. “That’s where the sadness comes in, not just that people would steal from the church, but from money that’s supposed to help people, especially at this time of year.”

Mr. Linden was charged by the police with two counts of burglary and is awaiting arraignment in the Bronx.

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