PA Wanted Fugitive Priest Found in Southern California

A “fugitive from justice” who pretended to be a priest and was wanted in Pennsylvania was caught in Southern California on Thursday, according to the police.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department says that 45-year-old Malin Rostas, also known as “Father Martin,” was found in the city of Moreno Valley. He was arrested.

A criminal warrant out of Pennsylvania and the “fraud and deception” he used to trick churches put police all over the United States on the lookout for Rostas, the department said.

Rostas is said to have made friends with places of worship by pretending to be a priest. From what the sheriff’s department knows, his real goal was to scam them.

Around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, deputies caught Rostas in the 10000 block of Pigeon Pass Road. They saw him driving a black car that looked like the one used in the alleged thefts and arrested him.

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Because of the warrant, he was arrested and taken to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside. He has not posted bail and is being held.

During the California investigation into Rostas, the sheriff’s office said they found evidence that he had tried to break into a church in Riverside County. Information about the church wasn’t given out.

The Gettysburg Times reports that Rostas was charged with one felony count of burglary, criminal trespassing, and theft last year in connection with a robbery that happened in Hamiltonban Township, Pennsylvania. There was a warrant out for his arrest.

The sheriff’s office in Riverside County said there could be more theft victims. Investigator McCracken can be reached at the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station 951-486-6700 by anyone who knows anything about the case. People who have been victims who live outside of Riverside County should call their local police department.

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