New York man charged in Brewster church theft


BREWSTER, N.Y. — A 48-year-old Shrub Oak, N.Y., man has been charged in connection with the theft of religious items from St. Lawrence O’Toole Roman Catholic Church in Brewster last month.


William P. Skeeth surrendered to authorities on Wednesday and was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny for the March 8 theft, Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith said.


A total of 15 items, including gold-plated chalices, religious vessels and cash were taken from church, which was open to the public. Skeeth allegedly sold the stolen items to an Elmsford, N.Y. scrap dealer for $20.


The dealer notified the parish administrator and Investigator Thomas Corless of the sheriff’s office of the recovery and returned the items to the church, Smith said.


Skeeth was arraigned before Kent Town Justice Kevin Douchkoff, acting on behalf of the Village of Brewster Justice Court, and was held without bail at the Putnam County Correctional Facility.



John Pirro