Parolee charged in church thefts

Suspect had previous convictions for burglary over the last 20 years, police say.

January 13, 2011|By Veronica Rocha,

GLENDALE — Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a 52-year-old parolee with burglary after he allegedly stole cash from donation boxes at churches in Glendale and Burbank.

Peter Galindro was charged with two felony counts of burglary stemming from alleged donation thefts at Holy Family Catholic Church in Glendale and Saint Finbar Catholic Church in Burbank, according to a criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Galindro was on parole for burglary, but has been convicted five times for burglary from February 1990 and January 2008, and once for bringing a weapon to jail, according to the complaint.


He was arrested Monday at his mother's Los Angeles home after witnesses identified him through surveillance footage from a Sept. 7 theft at the Burbank church as the same man who stole cash from Holy Family meant for Haiti, police said.

The major break came when off-duty Downey police officer Scott Shockey saw news reports about the thefts, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

He recalled that he also ran into a suspicious man and looked up his name in his notes, Lorenz added.

Galindro allegedly stole more than $1,000 from donations boxes at both churches, police said.

Holy Family Church officials told police that he may be responsible for stealing at least $1,000 from donation boxes at their church.

Galindro is being held without bail in a Los Angeles County jail.

If convicted of the burglaries, Galindro can face up to eight years and eight months in prison, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

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