updated 12/6/2007 9:23:12 PM ET 2007-12-07T02:23:12

When a man dressed in black and wearing crosses said to charge his groceries to St. Rocco's Roman Catholic Church, clerks at a West Pittston store obliged.

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St. Rocco's has a tab at the Gerritys Supermarket. And Officer Joe Campbell says the man "played the part," with his black clothing and a white strip of cardboard around his neck.

But his grocery orders began to stray from the necessities. Energy drinks and cigarettes crept in, and store officials became suspicious.

But police were waiting when the man with the crosses went to check out Tuesday. Officials say Brian Rush, 28, was charged with the attempted theft of nearly $98 worth of merchandise, and with five other recent thefts totaling $1,800.

Campbell said Rush did attend a seminary in 2006, but quit after a month. The Rev. Daniel Schwebs says he is not authorized to use St. Rocco's charge.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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