Police arrested Salvatore Buonauro of North Merrick on Sept. 26 and charged him with burglarizing Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church on Merrick Avenue. Police say he stole an undetermined amount of cash and gift cards from the church office.
Buonauro, 46, also entered Sacred Heart School, police say, but no losses were reported there.
According to police, Buonauro is a regular patron of Sacred Heart's community outreach program. When police arrived at his house at 4:15 p.m., Buonauro was found to be in possession of heroin, and was placed under arrest, according to authorities.
Police first reported to Sacred Heart Church at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday after being informed that someone had broken into the Pastoral Center during the night.
Police identified Buonauro after viewing surveillance video.
Buonauro is charged with two counts of third-degree burglary, and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. His arraignment was scheduled for Thursday in First District Court in Hempstead. He is represented by Legal Aid Society, which does not comment on cases as a matter of policy.