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Demetrius A. Brown

Demetrius A. Brown, in a photo provided by authorities.

ST. CHARLES • A north St. Louis County man who told police he stopped into area churches to pray now has been charged with stealing more than $2,000 in cash and merchandise from one of them.

Demetrius A. Brown, 49, of the 300 block of Scenic Drive was charged Tuesday with felony burglary and theft. He was being held on $50,000 cash-only bail in the St. Charles County Jail.

According to police, Brown drove around to area churches, and if he found a door open, he'd go in.

A teacher at St. Peter Catholic Church in St. Charles spotted Brown on June 18 as he broke into a box that holds donations for candles, police said. The teacher later saw Brown carrying a black bag and running to a white Ford, but he got away. Police said Brown took a laptop, a camera and more than $500 in cash.

Brown is on parole and has a criminal history that includes 47 arrests for charges that include stealing, robbery and assault, police said.