Grinch Stole $20,000 From NYC Church!

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," December 26, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

JAMIE COLBY: 'Tis the big Christmas crime. A couple of real-life Grinches stealing the holiday and a lot of loot from believers. Police in New York City looking for two men who had the gall to steal as much as $30,000 from a church on Christmas Day. Can you imagine? And to make matters worse, that money was collected just this past week at mass for needy children.

The reverend at St. Mel's Roman Catholic Church, Christopher Turczany, is with me now. And Reverend, you know, we are so sorry to hear about this. That's why we wanted to talk about it. What do you know about the men that might have done this?

REV. CHRISTOPHER TURCZANY, ST. MEL'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH: There is not much really to understand. The police are conducting the full-scale investigation. They've had great assistance from local authorities to proceed.

COLBY: Are they talking to people from the church? Or do they think it is likely an outsider?

TURCZANY: It is hard to say at this point.

COLBY: Have they talked to people that worked with you at the church?

TURCZANY: Everybody has been spoken to, to see if there are leads, any possible leads that could break this case.

COLBY: What was taken exactly, and where was it located at the church?

TURCZANY: In the sacristy of the church, we have a walk-in safe. And there is a lock box in the bottom, and we had the collections in there from Christmas Eve and then the first collection from Christmas Day.

COLBY: $30,000 collected, that's a pretty generous...

TURCZANY: It's between $20,000 and $30,000 in that area. It's an estimate.

COLBY: So it had not been counted?

TURCZANY: No. I am just going on past habits of giving.

COLBY: OK. Have you ever had any incidents there before at the church?

TURCZANY: No, it's really a safe neighborhood. There has really been no need to worry for our safety.

COLBY: So how are you going to make it up to the kids you were hoping to help?

TURCZANY: Well, the first collection of Christmas Day was basically set aside for the parish. We have insurance bills to pay, we have salaries to come up to pay this week. And the second collection from Christmas Day was to help needy children throughout the Brooklyn Diocese.

COLBY: Can I ask you to just look in the camera and talk, if it's possible, to people who are responsible who did this and tell them what your message might be?

TURCZANY: Well, for those people who feel the need to take money from the church, especially from needy children, you need to re-adjust your priorities. You need to perhaps look at your own life and see what perhaps you could do to earn money.

COLBY: And can people out there help? What can they do?

TURCZANY: Well, if people are willing to help, we'd be very happy to receive any assistance possible.

COLBY: And it's the St. Mel's Roman Catholic Church.

TURCZANY: That is correct.

COLBY: In New York City. Reverend, we hope everything works out. Thanks for telling us the story.

TURCZANY: Thank you very much, Jamie.

COLBY: Maybe we can — our viewers are the most generous in the world.

TURCZANY: Thank you very much, Jamie.

COLBY: Thank you very much. Take care.

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