Police arrested a mainland Chinese after he was caught stealing money from a donation box at the 166-year-old St. John’s Cathedral on Garden Road, Apple Daily reported Sunday.
At about 2 p.m. Saturday, the 25-year-old man, surnamed Qin, used a shoe string with sticky tape on its end to pull cash from the box up into his backpack through a hole he had made in its bottom.
Two accomplices stood guard beside him.
A member of the church staff spotted the trick and subdued him before calling police.
The accomplices fled.
Qin came to Hong Kong on a two-way permit.
The police found HK$470 (US$60.64) in his backpack that he may have retrieved from the box and are now hunting for his partners in crime, who are also believed to be mainlanders.
The staff member said that in July, he failed to catch another gang of three who also tried to steal donations from the box.
A sign outside the Anglican cathedral says donations are collected from the box every day.
It calls on church members to make monetary contributions to help with its operations and maintain the building, saying daily expenses amount to more than HK$89,000.
Police suspect some people might think that is the amount the church gets daily in its three donation boxes, giving them a motive to try to steal it.
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