If you have no place else to turn, the church is typically a good place to go in your community. However, stealing from a church isn’t typically the way to go about things. One Albany man found that out when he was arrested after stealing from a Central Avenue church.
Robert Hoag is a homeless Albany man in his mid 70s, and went into the church on a Sunday. That same day, the church reported to police that there was over $1,600 missing in cash, but they had security video footage that they were able to hand over to police. On camera, Hoag was spotted with his cane, and he was able to be identified rather quickly.
It isn’t the first time that Hoag had been caught stealing from a church, as his record had other burglaries recorded. Police approached Hoag a couple of days after the video surfaced, and he had the money and admitted to his crimes. Public Defender Beau Melita said that Hoag is a “sad, sad guy. He’s homeless.” The judge wasn’t ready to take it easy on Hoag, though.
Hoag was sentenced to a maximum of three years in prison for his theft. He was also ordered pay the church $500 in restitution, though it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to pay the full amount. For Hoag, it’s a sad situation, though it’s the third time that he’s been caught stealing from churches in the Albany metro area.