Joseph Woznik, NY man jailed up to 4½ years for robbing churches, said he targeted churches to to ‘get back at God’
“I’m mad at God…I don’t break into houses, only churches. I break in to get back at God” – Joseph Woznik
frustrated, jobless and homeless Queens, New York man set his sights on robbing only religious houses of worship
Joseph Woznik was jailed 1½ to 4½ years for robbing four churches in Queens, NY between March 21 and April 10, 2017
Woznik, 24, admitted in Sept to purposefully targeting religious establishments
He told police he breaks into churches to “get back at God”
He pled guilty to burglary as a hate crime and criminal possession of stolen property
“I’m mad at God,” Church burglar Joseph Woznik said he breaks into churches to “get back at God.”
A burglar with a vendetta against God has been sentenced for breaking into four Queens churches and stealing from the houses of worship.
Dubbed ‘The Queens Church Burglar’ by law enforcement, Joseph Woznik admitted last month to purposefully targeting various religious establishments in Flushing, Woodside and Elmhurst on three separate occasions.
Woznik was arrested after the last burglary at Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians in Woodside, Queens, NY authorities said.
The 24-year-old homeless man was accused of breaking into churches because he hates God pled guilty to the crimes, prosecutors said Thursday.
Joseph Woznik is facing up to four and a half years in prison for breaking into four houses of worship in Queens between March 21 and April 10.
“I break in to get back at God,” Woznik confessed to police, according to court papers. “I’m mad at God. I don’t like church no more. I’m sick and tired of hearing about religion.”
Joseph Woznik admitted last month to purposefully targeting various religious establishments. He was captured on security video at two of the crime scenes.
He was afraid of scaring innocent people, particularly children, if he burglarized homes.
He was captured on security video at two of the crime scenes.
He pleaded guilty to burglary as a hate crime, criminal possession of stolen property and bail jumping for a 2016 warrant related to a Florida burglary.
“In pleading guilty, the defendant has admitted he acted with hatred for God when he brazenly broke into the houses of worship,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “The defendant sought to enrich himself as well as to strike vengeance on God by stealing from the religious institutions.”
Damage left behind after Jose[h Woznik’s burglary at St. James Episcopal Church in Flushing, Queens, NY
At the Woodside church, Woznik admitted to stealing $20 from under a statue and other funds from a donation box. He also admitted he stole from three donation boxes at the Bangladesh Hindu Mandir Temple in Flushing.
He pulled he biggest heist at St. James Episcopal Church in Flushing which he burglarized three times by Woznik. He allegedly netted about $1,800 and ran off with a digital camera that he later pawned. He still had the pawn receipt and two checks from the Flushing church at the time of his arrest, prosecutors said.
He also stole a gold-plated communion plate from the other churches.
At St. Mary’s Romanian Orthodox Church in Elmhurst he broke a window and fled when the alarm went off.
When he was arrested, Woznik said “I don’t like church no more. I don’t want to deal with religion. I’m sick and tired of hearing about religion,” Woznik ranted.
In an about turn, the suspect switched during a jailhouse interview at Rikers Island, claiming his faith in God had been restored: “I don’t hate God or religion,” he said “I’ve been here praying all day, begging for forgiveness.”
Woznik was sentenced to 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years in prison, Monday
The native of Puerto Rico said he lost his mother, who battled a drug problem and suffered a fatal heart attack on his fifth birthday. Apparently he is a married dad of a 17-month-old daughter, but his in-laws refuse to allow Woznik to visit his child in their home where his wife also lives, Woznik claimed. Instead he wound up sleeping on the New York commuter trains and digging through trash cans for recyclable cans to make money.
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