Brandywine church is victim of heating oil theft, then gets holi - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Brandywine church is victim of heating oil theft, then gets holiday surprise

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Parishioners at Saint Michael's Church have been worshiping in a cooler environment in recent days. Police say somebody siphoned off 1,450 gallons of heating oil from the church's tanks sometime around Thanksgiving.

They backed a truck up to the tanks and helped themselves. The pastor was probably asleep just a few yards away in the rectory. There was not a peep from his faithful companion and guard dog, Susie.

Father Tom Gude, who has been pastor there for more than five years, says there are worse crimes. He says maybe the fuel is being put to good use, warming someone who really needs it.

He says his parishioners are taking the theft in stride. No services have been canceled, but they did cancel a Christmas potluck dinner, so they could use 100 gallons they ordered to get by two Sundays ago.

Then on the Monday after Thanksgiving, when the church's heating oil company came to refill the tanks and put locks on them, they got a big surprise. Someone had anonymously pumped and donated fuel. Whoever pumped the 325 gallons into the tanks hasn't stepped forward to take credit.

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