GARDNER -- Three Gardner men dressed in stolen religious clothing were arrested in the vacant Gardner Cinema building Friday, police Lt. Eric McAvene said Tuesday.
Shane McCaffrey, Jonathan Boudreau and Shawn Mason were arrested after someone spotted them in a second floor window of the vacant Parker Street building around 5:30 p.m., according to police.
Police surrounded the building and caught McCaffrey and Boudreau allegedly leaving through a rear fire escape door.
They found Mason in a crawl space inside the rikkety theater. The abandoned building has fire and water damage from a fire several years ago, McAvene said.
During the search for Mason, officers found several articles of religious clothing, religious writings, candles and candle holders that were linked to a theft at St. Joseph Church, which is located a few blocks away from the cinema, in the pre-dawn hours Friday, McAvene said.
A priest for the church said it appeared all the stolen items were returned, he said.
McCaffrey, 22, 65 Blanchard St.; Boudreau, 22, 37 Stephanie Drive; and Mason, 22, 52 Hemlock Drive, unit 104, were each charged with breaking and entering the church in the daytime to commit a felony and receiving stolen property valued over $250.
"Our investigation is continuing into the church itself and subsequent charges are pending, also," McAvene said.
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