Man tries to steal money box from St. Joseph’s church

Macon police arrested a 47-year-old man Monday for attempting to steal a money box attached to a candle table at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Poplar Street.

Robert William Nichols is being held in the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center on charges of a Superior Court probation violation and criminal attempt to commit theft/extortion, according to the LEC Web site.

A police officer was dispatched to the scene about 2:06 p.m. Monday. The officer saw Nichols at the intersection of First and Poplar streets, who fit the description provided by dispatch, according to a police report.

Nichols admitted going into the church, but he said he went in to use the bathroom, according to the report.

Larry Witt, a maintenance man working inside the church, told the reporting officer that he saw Nichols trying to gain access to the money box, which was attached to the table, according to the report. All of the candles from the table were removed and had been placed on the altar when Witt arrived in the sanctuary, according to the police report.

Witt told police he saw Nichols trying to remove the box from a flipped over table. Nichols was unable to open the locked money box, according to the report.