More than century-old artifact worth $2M swiped from Brooklyn, New York, church


A extra than century-old church artifact worth $2 million was stolen from its New York City sanctuary, authorities mentioned, in a brazen break-in that native Catholic leaders known as against the law of “disrespect and hate.”

A tabernacle manufactured from 18-carat gold and adorned with jewels had been housed at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church within the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn earlier than somebody stole it sooner or later between Thursday night time and Saturday afternoon, officers mentioned.

Image: Stolen tabernacle
The tabernacle, a field containing Holy Communion gadgets, was manufactured from 18-carat gold and adorned with jewels, police and the diocese mentioned. It’s valued at $2 million.NYPD through AP

Police are “investigating a brazen crime of disrespect and hate,” in response to assertion by the Brooklyn Diocese.

To take away the tabernacle, thieves needed to reduce via a steel protecting casing. Statues of angels have been left decapitated and destroyed from the heist.

St. Augustine was closed for development on the time of the theft and digital camera recordings from the safety system have been additionally stolen, the church mentioned. The stolen tabernacle dates again to the church’s opening within the Nineties.

There had been no arrests or different important developments by Tuesday morning, an NYPD spokesperson mentioned.

Erin Thompson, who teaches artwork crime at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, fears jewels from the stolen tabernacle have already been eliminated on the market and the remainder of the artifact has been melted down for its gold.

“I might be very shocked if we ever see the tabernacle once more,” Thompson mentioned Tuesday.

Gold has a really comparatively low melting level, so even an on a regular basis propane torch can produce ingot that “you’ll be able to promote by weight on the nearest jeweler,” in response to the professor.

“Think of all these indicators that say, ‘We purchase gold,’ ” she mentioned. “And there’s no must promote it immediately — gold will preserve. And you understand how a lot it’s worth, so you should use it like money in an underground financial system.”

Last 12 months, a statue of Saint Rita of Cascia was stolen from its perch at National Shrine of Saint Rita in Philadelphia earlier than it was discovered deserted a brief distance away.

That statue weighed about 100 kilos and had an estimated worth of $100,000.

“A detective regarded round close by alleys, suspecting, appropriately, that the thieves would discover it too heavy to be worth it — certainly, they deserted it,” Thompson mentioned. “But that wasn’t gold.”

The Associated Press and Ali Gostanian contributed.


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