A 34-year-old Shippagan man has been sentenced to one year in jail for stealing money from two churches.

Léo Chiasson pleaded guilty to three counts of theft under $5,000, one charge of breaking and entering, and two charges of wearing a mask with intent to commit an indictable offence, according to the RCMP.

The charges stem from several incidents dating back to January involving a church in Shippagan and another church in Lamèque, said Const.  Jean-François Dulac.

Between Jan. 12 and 24, Chiasson twice stole money that was being collected from the sale of candles at Paroisse Saint-Jérôme in Shippagan, he said.

Chiasson was arrested on Jan. 25 in connection with the thefts, but was released on several conditions.

On March 15, he was arrested again in Lamèque.

Police say he walked into Notre-Dame-des-Flots Church, which was unlocked at the time, and stole money that was being collected from the sale of candles there.

The RCMP opposed Chiasson’s release and he subsequently pleaded guilty to the charges, said Dulac.