Rehoboth man charged with stealing purse in church

May 1, 2014
Anthony Amato. BY SUBMITTED

Rehoboth Beach police charged a Rehoboth man April 17 after a purse and wallet were stolen from a woman at All Saints Episcopal Church.

Chief Keith Banks said at 3:23 p.m., Anthony J. Amato, 57, walked into the church and stole a purse and wallet. Banks said Amato, wearing a gray sweatshirt and jeans, left the church and began walking north on Olive Avenue, where he was seen throwing the victim’s wallet underneath a car after removing cash. Banks said Amato took $30.

Banks said onlookers pointed out Amato to police, and he was arrested. Amato was taken to Delaware State Police Troop 7, where troopers were looking for  him in connection with another incident at Epworth United Methodist Church, on Holland Glade Road outside Rehoboth.

Police spokesman Cpl. John Day said video shows Amato stealing credit cards from an unattended woman's purse left in the church pantry April 13. Day said Amato used a stolen card to purchase cigarettes.  He was released on $1,100 unsecured bail.

Banks said Amato was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 2 and is due to appear in the Court of Common Pleas in Georgetown, Monday, May 12.