TODAY’S GENIUS AWARD GOES TO……
Orlando, FL — Six “low-tech” thieves snagged $740,000 worth of donations out of church mailboxes – then used the dough for cars, clothes, and to wire cash back to their native Romania, Florida police said. Four of the sacrilegious thieves were arrested Wednesday but two of the men are still on the loose, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced.
“This low-tech yet well-organized effort to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of mailed-in charitable donations — at a time when donations may have been most needed — has been stopped,” Department Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a statement. The men took more than 1,500 checks from 636 churches – 355 in the state alone.
The six operated out of Orlando but traveled throughout the state and elsewhere, sometimes hitting as many as 85 churches in a day. Some churches were hit multiple times as well. Now in custody are Ionut Raducan, 33, Marius Dumitru, 28, Marius Dumitru, 34, and Panait Dumitru, 32. Catalin Trandafir, 45, and Simona Trandafir, 39, remain at large.