Cuyahoga County

Man who stole communion vessels from Lakewood churches sentenced to five years in prison

A Cuyahoga County judge sentenced a Lakewood man who stole communion ware from two churches to five years in prison Thursday and ordered him to pay restitution to one of them.

James Reardon, 44, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of aggravated robbery, breaking and entering and desecration. Police said he broke into Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Lakewood once and Faith Lutheran Church, also in Lakewood, twice.

Judge Daniel Gaul cited the defendant's criminal history -- he had 38 prior convictions, including armed robbery -- as his justification for a five-year sentence.

"The reason I didn't give you seven years is because you (pleaded guilty)," Gaul said.

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