Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
A petty crook came face to face with the wrath of God when a priest ran him down with his car after he stole clothes from a parish shop.
The bizarre incident took place in Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, in the south-eastern Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, on 7th May.
CCTV footage shows thief Angelo Marcos dos Santos Nogueira, 41, fleeing along the pavement.
But as he tries to get away, a white car roars up from behind and apparently swerves hard right straight into him.
Nogueira is carried on the car’s bonnet down what seems to be an access alley between shops.
Then the vehicle reverses back into the street with a dented bonnet before driving off.
The priest has been identified in local media as Friar Gustavo Trindade dos Santos, who was chasing Nogueira over some stolen sweatshirts.
The friar has apparently disappeared and is now on the run, listed officially as a fugitive from justice, report local media.
Nogueira is under arrest in a hospital intensive care unit with serious injuries.
Father Gustavo’s car reportedly belongs to the Parish of Sao Sebastiao de Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, where he has been the priest for two months.
Investigator Antonio Jose Fernandes Vieira told local media that Nogueira is the prime suspect in another theft carried out at the parish last Thursday (5th May).
In that incident, BRL 40 (GBP 6.33) in coins was stolen.
Celebrity priest and human rights activist Father Julio Lancellotti took to social media on Sunday (8th May) to tell his 1 million followers that “one crime does not justify the other”.
He also said the alleged thief was a drug addict.
The missing friar only qualified as a priest a year ago, local media report, but now could face charges of attempted murder and failing to provide assistance.
The Order of Preachers and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ourinhos have said they are looking into the case and that “appropriate measures will be taken”.
The police are investigating the case.