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Masked man robs Holy Family Church at gunpoint

Sunday morning mass at Holy Family Church was interrupted July 13 with an armed robbery, police said Monday.

Camillus police said a white male, about 6 feet tall of medium build and appearing to be in his late teens or early 20's demanded that a church volunteer hand over the collection plate from 10:30 a.m. mass.

The suspect displayed what appeared to be a black handgun, police said, and was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and black ski mask.

"It was very rare, we're hoping it was a random act," said Danielle Cummings, director of communications for the Syracuse Roman-Catholic Diocese. "We're also hoping for a change of heart. It was obviously a point of desperation for them to actually steal from a church."

Cummings said it was unknown how much money the robber made off with, and there is no way of knowing at this point whether the suspect is or was a parishioner of Holy Family.

Money from the collection plate, passed at each Catholic mass, is used to fund ministries at the church, Cummings said. Though Holy Family is a part of the Syracuse diocese, money collected at mass goes directly back into the Holy Family parish to help sustain expenses of the church.

"We are hoping the Camillus police will be able to solve it very quickly," Cummings added.

Anyone with information about this robbery is asked to contact Camillus police at 487-0102.

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