Fake priest robs New York church of $900 in multistate impersonator scam

A scam artist who impersonated a priest across multiple US states recently targeted a Catholic church in New York City, managing to steal nearly $1,000, according to police.

NYPD Crime Stoppers said in a post on X on Wednesday that it was offering a $3,500 reward for tips leading to the arrest of a man who impersonated a priest to gain access to a Queens church.

On Sunday, March 3, a priest at American Martyrs Church “was approached by an unknown individual who impersonated a priest to obtain access into [the parish],” the post said, adding that “while inside, the individual removed $900 in cash from the victim’s unlocked bedroom.”

Local media reported that Father Peter Rayder, the pastor of the church, said the fake priest “must have done his research because he knew their names, used vocabulary a priest would, and knew where to go.”

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