Catholic priest accused of shoplifting
SUNRISE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A priest has been accused of breaking a commandment during several recent shopping trips.
Forty-three-year-old Giuseppe Savaia is a priest at St. Claire's Catholic Church in North Palm Beach. Police said the ordained priest was recently caught shoplifting.
Surveillance cameras captured Savaia as he went inside the Neiman Marcus store at the Boca Town Center Mall. Savaia can be seen looking at a Jay Strongwater picture frame worth $895.
Savaia is then seen with the frame as he walked away from the shelf. Police said the priest slipped the frame in his pocket and walked out of the store. "I think that's just very wrong, especially since he's a priest. That's not godly to do," one shopper said.
Another shopper said, "People don't expect priests to do it, but [some do]."
Five days later, the priest appeared at the Neiman Marcus store at the Sawgrass Mills Mall. He was captured on camera carrying two bags. Loss prevention officers began to follow Savaia.
Later, the priest took two Italian-made jackets and layered them, draped them over his arm, and began walking aimlessly around the store. After some time, he walked out of the store, jackets in hand.
However, store employees were waiting outside and escorted him back inside the business. Shopper Chuck Trombly said, "There's always those people in every profession that may go outside the law, and he just happens to be one of them who got caught."
Savaia was arrested. He later wrote a letter to his parishioners, in which he did not confess to any crime but apologized for the confusion and professed his innocence.
Savaia faces two counts of grand theft.
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