Man goes on carjacking spree dressed in stolen church garments - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Man goes on carjacking spree dressed in stolen church garments

CLEVELAND - A man who broke into a downtown church went on a carjacking spree dressed in a black liturgical robe and a purple cape lifted from a statue of Jesus, police said.

The man broke into St. Maron Church Tuesday afternoon. In addition to the garments, he left wearing a stolen black motorcycle helmet that covered his face, police said.

He then approached the passenger-side window of a nearby car, frantically making the Sign of the Cross, said 24-year-old Michael O'Grady, the car's owner.

"We thought he was some sort of religious nut or something," O'Grady said.

But when the man tried to get into the car, O'Grady's mother, 58-year-old Janet, hit the car alarm's panic button.

The man ran, throwing off the helmet and wrapping the cape around his hand.

He jumped into another car with a father and son from the suburbs of Chicago and said he had a gun under the cape.

The 19-year-old son jumped out and ran toward the O'Grady's car shouting, "Someone call 9-1-1!" O'Grady said.

Meanwhile, the father drove the man a short distance, but the car quickly got stuck in traffic.

The carjacker jumped out and rushed toward a third car, which he stole from a 33-year-old Cleveland woman, said police Lt. Thomas Stacho.

The entire spree took about 5 minutes, Stacho said. The man remained at large Wednesday.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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