Attempted break-in at north city church leaves neighborhood incensed

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ST. LOUIS – For the third time in a week, someone tried to break into a building at the historic Holy Cross Catholic Parish in the Baden neighborhood of north St. Louis.

Someone tried to break into the church rectory—the pastor’s residence—around 12:30 a.m. Monday.

A board-up crew was back at the parish, adding to their work from four days ago. St. Louis police were back, too. An investigator checked out a banged-up A/C unit and a damaged rectory door. The break-in was unsuccessful this time.

“It’s sad that it happens to a church,” said Mike Milligan of AM Richards Glass Co.

He was there to board up the rectory door.

“It shouldn’t (happen) because a church is what actually helps the community,” he said.

The Baden Enrichment STEM Center has also operated out one of the parish buildings – holding a new shoe giveaway earlier this year for families in need.

Holy Cross is seen as holding the neighborhood together. Neighbors are incensed that it’s being targeted.

“The church is doing a lot of groundwork to try to bring up property values and just do a lot to bring the neighborhood Baden used to have,” said Dorothy Burton said, who lives a couple blocks away from the church.

Someone broke into the school building, stealing a window air-conditioner, a flat screen TV, and a VCR early Thursday morning last week. Another attempted break-in there followed, and now the attempted break-in at the rectory.

“I think it’s so unfortunate, just that you have to go that route,” Burton said. “I think a lot needs to be done for the homelessness and just a lot of the things that are hurting St. Louis, period. Just to stop [targeting the church] altogether. I think some cameras would help but it’s really, really, sad.”

A spokesman for the archdiocese said there was an ongoing security evaluation at the parish and upgrades are likely.

Anyone with information about the crimes should call the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.