Gardaí have arrested and charged a man in relation to five theft incidents at churches.
The incidents date back to November and took place in Shanagarry, Cloyne, Carrigtwohill and in Dungarven.
The matter was reported to gardaí in Midleton and upon reviewing CCTV footage, a man was seen fishing out envelopes from the church donation box.
As part of an investigation into the matter, gardaí attached to the Midleton Detective Unit carried out a surveillance operation yesterday at a church in Carrigtwohill.
In a statement, gardaí said: "When gardaí went to arrest the man he fled the scene in a car and travelled on the N25. Gardaí pursued from a safe distance until eventually the man stopped the car near the Jack Lynch Tunnel. Upon searching the man and the car, Gardaí found a wire hook similar to the one seen in the CCTV footage."
The man, aged in his 50s, was arrested and brought to Cobh Garda Station. He was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 and has since been charged.
He is due to appear before Mallow District Court this morning