Monday, June 17, 2013

Woman's conscience sparks confession of cookie and coffee theft from church

Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013

Catholic guilt struck a Penndel woman a week after she allegedly stole food and drinks from a church in the borough.
Police don’t know if the woman is of the Catholic faith, but the church she allegedly burglarized is. She was choked with guilt, Penndel police said.

So she confessed to Penndel’s police chief a week after she and a man broke into Our Lady of Grace and stole cookies and other food-related items, he said.
The 51-year-old’s alleged secret began to crumble on May 10, when Chief Joseph Sciscio was speaking with her about an unrelated landlord/tenant issue. During the conversation, the woman told him that something was bothering her, according to a probable cause affidavit.
She told police that she and Michael Scuderi, 38, of South Bellevue Avenue, had forced their way into the South Bellevue Avenue church on May 2 and stole food that belonged to the church’s Alcoholics Anonymous program, the affidavit shows.
The woman, who isn’t being named because she hasn’t been charged in the burglary yet, then handed over to Sciscio some of the stolen items, including coffee, Oreos and bulk packets of sugar, according to court documents. Scuderi, she said, still had some of the food at his home, the court records show.
The chief then spoke with a crossing guard on duty the day of the burglary who recalled speaking to a man who was carrying a large orange bag accompanied by a woman. He said something to the man in reference to the bag.
“You’ve got a full load there,” the crossing guard remembers saying, according to police.
A church worker also said that other items had recently gone missing from the church. They included bulk coffee, creamers and more cookies, the chief said.
The day after the cookie confessional, a search warrant was executed on Scuderi’s home, and two coffee containers believed to be church property were found, police said. Scuderi family members also told police that the coffee was stolen from the church, court papers show.
Besides the food items, two Suboxone film packets were found in Scuderi’s bedroom, as well as suspected drug paraphernalia, according to police. Suboxone, a narcotic, is used in the treatment of opiate addiction.
Scuderi was later arrested and arraigned Thursday before Penndel District Judge Daniel Baranoski on charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and related offenses. He was sent to Bucks County prison in lieu of 10 percent of $50,000 bail.
The woman was arrested on drug-related charges days after her burglary confession and will also face charges similar to Scuderi’s, in a few days, Sciscio said.

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