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Man Charged With Breaking Into Boston Shrine Held On $2,500 Bail

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The man charged with breaking into a Roman Catholic shrine in downtown Boston was arraigned Monday afternoon.

Erik Swanson, of Boston, was held on $2,500 bail. He is charged with larceny over $250, vandalism, and breaking and entering.

Police say a man wearing a suit and tie and ball cap broke into the Franciscan shrine early Friday and stole several items. Based on surveillance, police arrested Swanson wearing the same clothes on Sunday.

They said they found a crucifix and two keys from the shrine when they took him into custody, and also found a backpack with iPods, cameras, and purses stolen from vehicles.

Church burglary suspect
Surveillance video shows a church burglary suspect Boston Police identify as Eric Swanson. (WBZ-TV)

WBZ-TV's Nicole Jacobs reported that Swanson is known to the court system, and that he has four prior open cases.

The defense said Swanson is struggling with heroin addition.

Meanwhile, The head of the shrine says he's ready to forgive Swanson.

The Rev. Thomas Conway, executive director of St. Anthony's shrine, says he's not ready to judge the suspect and thinks it may have been a call for help.

In addition to the latest charges, Swanson's bail was revoked in two of his open cases, and he was ordered to pay a $500 fee for two other open cases.

He is due back in court December 12.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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