Youth pastor charged with stealing $400 in voucher cards from charity

SHARE Youth pastor charged with stealing $400 in voucher cards from charity
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Rix Thorsell | church photo

A youth pastor at a west suburban church stole more than $400 worth of voucher cards that were supposed to be donated to the needy through a charity working out of the church, according to prosecutors.

Sometime during the weekend of March 6-8, an office in the 1st Congregational Church in Des Plaines was robbed of about $400 worth of voucher cards belonging to Hope’s Front Door, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

The cards — redeemable for merchandise at stores such as Jewel, McDonald’s or Speedway — were to be distributed to those in need.

Church and charity officials contacted police, who soon identified 27-year-old Rix Thorsell as a suspect after he was seen using some of the cards, and others were found in his possession, a statement from prosecutors said.

Thorsell, of the 100 block of North Cross Street in Wheaton, was charged with one count of theft from a place of worship in a warrant issued Thursday by Judge Robert Rohm. Later that day, Thorsell turned himself in to Downers Grove police and was released on $2,500 bail, 10 percent of a $25,000 bond, prosecutors said.

“The very idea that someone would steal voucher cards intended for food and other necessities for those in need is disgraceful,” state’s attorney Robert Berlin said in the statement. “The allegations against Mr. Thorsell are very serious and will be met with the full force of the law.”

Thorsell’s next court hearing is scheduled for April 6 in front of Judge John Kinsella in Wheaton.

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