Church B & E

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email

They had one thing in mind when they broke in... silver.

"We have not been able to determine the method of entry or the location of the entry; that's one of the things that we're still trying to figure out,” says Sgt. Greg Collins of the Parkersburg Police Department.

Whoever did this needs to turn in the church pieces and themselves.

"If someone's trying to pawn them off, sell 'em, trade 'em for something, that we can get the word out and the information out and try to catch the people that did this,” Collins says.

It was a brazen crime, stealing religious items from a church -- but justice will be served.

"What we at First Lutheran are asking for is that we would regain these items, not so much for any other reason than they are priceless to us and that is well worth it beyond the silver price,” says Pastor Ian Reid.

Someone is far too familiar with something that doesn't belong to them.

"I have to believe that they have some knowledge of the pieces obviously,” Collins says. “It is suspicious how they got in, we don't know if there was a key used or if there was a lock that malfunctioned.”

The stolen items date back to the 1920s and have an estimated value of $10,000.

"It was special because it came from the Storck family, which owns Storck bakery and it has been a meaningful part of our worship,” Reid says.

Targeting a church is on a whole ‘nother level.

"This is one of those crimes that makes us angry if we put it right in line with our Veteran's Museum crime and our Sumner School crime and we don't like,” Collins says. “All burglaries and B & Es, we take 'em all very seriously."

A few of the stolen items were recovered after a 19th Street Meat Market employee found them stashed in a pink backpack in a nearby dumpster.

Still missing are two silver chalices, two silver patens and a silver flagon.

"It was very valuable in that we've had many baptisms, probably over 200 baptisms, with the water in it and that was taken away from us,” Reid says. “So it's a piece of history that we just cannot replace."

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