Police: Outreach patron burglarized church

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A regular patron of a church outreach program was arrested Wednesday, charged with breaking into two buildings at a church in North Merrick and stealing cash and gift cards, police said.

Salvatore C. Buonauro, 46, of 1402 Merrick Ave., North Merrick, was arrested at 4:15 p.m. and charged with the overnight break-ins at Sacred Heart Church. Police said Buonauro broke into the Pastoral Center and the Sacred Heart School, but said nothing was taken from the school.

The break-ins at the church on Merrick Avenue were reported at 8:30 a.m., police said.

Police said Buonauro entered the Pastoral Center through an open rear window, stealing the cash and cards. Police said he was identified as being a "regular patron of the church's community outreach program" after being seen on surveillance video.

Buonauro is charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, that after police said arresting officers found Buonauro in possession of heroin.

Buonauro is scheduled for arraignment Thursday in First District Court in Hempstead.

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