CLIFTON - Police have arrested a Bergen County man and charged him in the theft last week of a chalice and money from a donation box at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church on Union Avenue.
The chalice, worth about $15,000, has not been recovered and police are still looking for it. A chalice is a goblet or cup used in religious services.
Peter M. Heitmann Jr., 26, of Saddle Brook is charged with burglary, theft, criminal mischief and possession of burglar's tools, said Detective Lt. Robert Bracken of the Clifton Police Department.
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Police say Heitman broke into the church through a basement window overnight between Feb. 17 and 18, taking the chalice and an undisclosed amount of cash from a donation box.
Heitman was in custody in another jurisdiction when he was charged by Clifton police, Bracken said.
Bracken said Heitman is also a suspect in a burglary around the same time at St. Brendan's Roman Catholic Church on Lakeview Avenue in Clifton.
In that burglary, which was reported on Feb. 18, the thief also entered the church through a window, police said.
Police did not disclose what was taken from St. Brendan's.
Investigators from Haledon, Saddle Brook and Hawthorne police departments assisted in the investigation, Bracken said.
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