Two priests were robbed by brazen gunman in a church parking lot in Florida according to police.
The incident occurred on July 18 at the St. Helen Catholic Church in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., in the Fort Lauderdale-Miami area. Authorities have just released the surveillance video, however, and are asking the public’s help in locating and apprehending the suspects.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office indicated that it is seeking the robbers “for unholy acts.”
Father Lesly Jean was giving a visiting priest a tour of the facility around 10 pm when they were confronted by two armed men who had hopped the fence surrounding the rectory. The two suspects apparently had been prowling the area for several minutes before they went over the fence.
CBS Miami reports that “After asking the priests if they knew the location of the nearest bank, one of the suspects then took out a gun and pointed it at the victims. One of the priests refused to get down, or hand over his belongings, and told the suspect ‘shoot me.’ Fortunately he was not hurt… The priests were robbed at gunpoint of their cell phones, money, and other valuables. The suspects then jumped back over the fence.”
The two alleged stickup men fled in an SUV which was reportedly driven by a female accomplice. “The video shows the men running toward the surveillance camera, where an SUV was backed into a parking spot waiting for the suspects. The two men jumped into the backseat,and they sped away.
Father Jean has not yet made a public statement about the robbery according to the Florida Sun Sentinel.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Department is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of the alleged perpetrators of the gunpoint robbery of the priests. Investigators will accept anonymous tips by telephone or online.