Bartlett police say Michael Patrick Cantler cut the cables connecting the safe to the wall, and then removed the safe entirely. There was no sign of forced entry.
Cantler had been working as a maintenance man for six months to a year. His boss told Bartlett police Cantler had a set of keys that he would typically leave behind in the maintenance room before leaving each night.
The police report also states the maintenance room has a machine that can copy keys, which employees have access to.
It was the catholic school’s cafeteria manager who noticed the theft on the morning of April 20, because the door to her office was unlocked and the safe missing from her office wall.
She told the officer that about three or four other people are supposed to have a key to access the door, but that keys have been lost in the past.
Cantler was booked into Bartlett City Jail on May 2, on a $5,000 bond.
“To me, I can’t believe anybody would do that. Especially somebody who was here, supposedly helping or working,” said Mary Mahoney, who has been a member of St. Ann’s for almost 40 years.
Rather than become angry, Mahoney said, “I feel sorry for the man who did it. I know we will pray for him, because it’s sad that we don’t know what brought it about, why he did it.”
Many church members are just finding out about the burglary and theft.
“That’s terrible. Why would somebody do that?” said Jenny Murray.
Murray and Mahoney both felt the congregation is strong and would come together to make up that $12,000.
Of the key situation, Murray said, “You can’t trust anybody with the keys. You got to watch whom you give them to.”
She said she hoped the church could find a safer place to keep large amounts of money.