Scammer Poses as Priest to Rob Churches Across America; Arrested in California

In an alarming series of events, a con artist disguised as a priest has been targeting churches across the United States, robbing parishioners of their belongings and cash. The imposter, identified as Malin Rostas, 45, from New York, was apprehended in California after a string of thefts from Catholic parishes.

Rostas, posing under the alias Father Martin, infiltrated various parishes under the guise of being a visiting priest from Chicago. Reports suggest he gained access to priests’ private quarters, rifling through their valuables before hastily departing with stolen goods. His spree spanned several months, with incidents reported in New York, Houston, Oregon, and even Canada.

Father Martin’s modus operandi involved meticulous planning and familiarity with church protocols. He targeted specific items and cash, often leaving clergy members unaware until after his departure. Victims recounted feeling violated and dismayed by the betrayal of trust.

Scammer Poses as Priest to Rob Churches Across America; Arrested in California

Authorities eventually apprehended Rostas in Moreno Valley, California, after his vehicle matched the description linked to the thefts. He now faces multiple charges, including an outstanding felony warrant from Pennsylvania.

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This incident sheds light on a concerning trend of criminals exploiting religious spaces for personal gain. Similar cases have emerged, including individuals impersonating priests in Mexico and Miami, engaging in fraudulent activities ranging from extortion to fake rituals.

While Rostas’s arrest brings relief, it underscores the importance of vigilance and security measures within religious communities to prevent such incidents in the future.

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