VIDEO: Quick thinking from resident led to conviction of Fotheringhay Church thief

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An arrest last year of a man seen acting suspiciously at Fotheringhay Church led to the discovery of an elaborate string of thefts and the confiscation of thousands of pounds.

Stefan Bodnarczuk, 55, received a 20-month custodial sentence at Northampton Crown Court earlier this month, for stealing a large amount of money from church donation boxes across three counties, including Northamptonshire.

PC Paul Mitchinson next to the church collection box where he caught thief Stefan Bodnarczuk

PC Paul Mitchinson next to the church collection box where he caught thief Stefan Bodnarczuk

He was arrested at Fotheringhay church in May 2013 after a member of the local community passed information to the local policing team, about a man seen acting strangely in and around the church.

Detectives from the force’s Financial Crime Team then conducted an investigation which led to the discovery of an intricate operation being carried out by Bodnarczuk, and the confiscation of £37,740.

Superintendent Andy Cox said: “This is an excellent piece of work by our officers. It was a long but worthwhile investigation which led to the seizure of offender assets and a good sentence.

“Bodnarczuk was methodical – the offences were carefully planned and systematic and may well have gone undetected had officers not made this arrest.

Stefan Bodnarczuk

Stefan Bodnarczuk

“Those in our communities can have confidence that we take rural crime extremely seriously and will always be proactive when we receive information from members of the public.”

Detective Sergeant Wayne Preece, who runs the Financial Investigation Unit, and PC Paul Mitchinson, can be seen talking about the investigation in the accompanying footage, along with members of the local community.