New York State Police arrested a woman they say stole $250 worth of cheesecake and pastries from the Nuns of New Skete in the town of White Creek.
The Nuns of New Skete are known for their cheesecakes across the country. But in the Cambridge area, they’re also known for their generosity.
“They try to believe in their fellow man, and they want people to do the right thing,” Charlie Linke, of Cambridge, said.
The monastery has an unsupervised gift shop; however, they expect people to fill out a sign-in sheet and leave payment in the dropbox when they take their treats.
Linke has done so many times, and he appreciates the honor system.
“I just wish more of the world would follow that,” he said.
But people have broken their trust. The nuns set up surveillance cameras after repeated thefts.
On October 18, the cameras caught two women taking multiple cheesecakes and pastries without leaving any money behind.
“I just don’t understand why anyone would do it,” Jennifer Strattman, who lives across from New Skete Nuns, said. “This is a neighborly community, and why would anyone steal from nuns let alone anyone. I don’t think it’s right.”
Police said Smith went to the shop with her 21-year-old daughter, took items, and left without depositing payment. Both Smith and her daughter turned themselves in Thursday afternoon. Only Smith was charged.
“They’re suffering the embarrassment and that might be enough for them to understand and kind of make things right,” Charles Amos, of Cambridge, said.
No matter their motives, the community hopes they walk away knowing they did something wrong.
“Hopefully, the people can learn from it,” Linke said.
The Nuns of New Skete did not have a comment on the incident.
Smith is expected in court on November 16.