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May 27, 2008
Cranston man accused of stealing church offerings
A Cranston man who counted church offerings has been charged with embezzling cash collected from parishioners during the weekly offerings at the Immaculate Conception Church in Cranston.
State police detectives on Sunday arrested Vittorio "Victor" Castriotta, 48, of 66 Woodmont Drive, charging him with felony embezzlement and larceny over $500, according to a police news release today.
Castriotta has been for the last five years a volunteer counter at the church at 237 Garden Hills Drive, and the police said they believe money was taken during at least the last five months.
The state police allege their investigation found Castriotta, who was a member of a volunteer counting team that counted funds every four weeks, stole cash collected as part of the regular parishioner offerings.
Church officials found that collections dropped when Castriotta was involved in counting offerings, police said, and the officials decided to review their video system.
-- projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
The amount of money the police say was stolen has not been figured, "however, it is believed to be in an amount warranting a felony charge." The police probe will continue to figure out the amount they say was taken.
The police said there is no evidence suggesting Castriotta worked with any other volunteer or church employee in allegedly taking money.
Castriotta was released on $10,000 personal recognizance. A July 29 pre-arraignment conference is slated in Providence County Superior Court.
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