Week of August 18, 2019
“It is with heart-felt gratitude and thanks to the St. Cloud Police Department that I write this article.” On the morning of Wednesday, August 7th at 2:00 am, I was awakened by a slight noise just outside my bedroom window of the rectory at St. Peter. My bedroom window overlooks a large flat roof area at eye level just a couple feet beside my bed. I woke up to see two males less than 7 feet in front of me with two more males already on my rectory roof clanging and banging and trying to pry open my roof hatch in an attempt to break in. With this happening, I had to crawl to my cell phone that was on my bedroom dresser so as not to be detected since one of the perpetrators was shining a flashlight occasionally scanning my bedroom. Of course, when you open a cell phone the whole room lights up! I quickly covered my phone and without my glasses tried dialing 911. Luckily the individual's right in front of me did not notice! It’s pretty unnerving when you have a group of thieves trying to break in, you don’t how desperate they are, and you hope you can reach help soon! The 911 dispatcher did a great job trying to assess the situation although I am sure my words were pretty jumbled as I had to speak softly since these guys were only a few feet in front of me and had me pinned to the floor by their flashlights.
In about 7-12 minutes the 911 dispatcher announced that the St. Cloud Police were already there and had the whole block of St. Peter surrounded. They did not use their squad car lights or sirens so as to better catch them. About that time one of the thieves must have seen a squad car in the north parking lot and so they all made a dash off the roof toward the south end of the building. Then I heard some yelling as the police were already waiting for them. When it was safe to come outside, I discovered 9 squad cars, a canine unit, and an infra-red drone flying in the air in our south lot. They had 5 people in custody (4 male and 1 female, all white, some adult and some juvenile) handcuffed and on our lawn. Two of the perpetrators ran and were in hiding on the roof but the infra-red drone was able to guide an officer on the roof as to their hiding location and they were arrested too.
In the end, I was totally impressed by our St. Cloud Police Dept. with their quick and complete response to what could have been a very serious situation! When it was all done, I had a nice conversation with the sergeant and other officers telling them how much I truly appreciated the wonderful job they had done! In a time and day when not only priests but also police officers and Law Enforcement are getting an unfair and bad rap from the “Media” and “Fake News” it was great to have these men and women on our side with my safety protected and peace and justice served. “God bless all our Law Enforcement personnel for a job well done!”
Turns out these criminal’s home addresses are near St. Peter as well as St. Michael’s Church which has also experienced some theft and robbery these past months. Although this may not be the end of the criminality that is occurring within our ACC, it’s a step in the right direction. I have since written a letter of thanks to our Police Dept., our City Mayor and our City Attorney expressing my gratitude. I am not sure the adult thieves in this situation learned a lesson by this. I pray for them and those younger minors, that they will turn away from their bad intentions and do something good with their life! It’s hard to see lives wasted in any way. Maybe this is God’s wake-up call for them! For now, peace and God bless!
Fr. LeRoy Scheierl