BURIEN, Wash. - A determined thief hit a Burien Church at least three times last week to cart away some sacred items. The church is hoping someone will have a change of heart and return two tabernacles that were stolen from Saint Bernadette Parish.
There were no signs of forced entry so the church isn't sure how the thieves got in. The ornate cabinets are worth thousands of dollars but it’s the loss of what is kept inside that upsets church members.
“You kind of get that feeling in the gut of your stomach that says oh, something terrible has happened” Father Michael Wright explained. “We sure hope they didn't understand what they were doing” he added.
The tabernacle is one of the most sacred items in the church because it is where they keep Eucharist for communion. “We always keep Jesus reserved in the tabernacle so the option to give to the sick and anyone in danger of death” Father Wright explained.
What's hard to believe is the thieves came at least three times. They first stole an older tabernacle that the parish wasn't using anymore and then the next night they came for the other one but discovered it was bolted down. A broken screwdriver was found at the spot where thieves had tried to pry the cabinet open.
Then they returned a third night “they had actually come in with tools and unbolted It from the stand and carried it off” Father Wright explained.
The sacred cabinets are heavy and it likely took more than one person to cart it away. For now, the church has a small, temporary tabernacle on the alter.
The two that were lost are worth thousands of dollars and a replacement will likely run about $8,000. “I told my community the most important thing is not for us to get upset, not to get angry but to pray for the people involved” Father Wright said.
The church filed a police report and said detectives have notified pawn shops in the area to watch for the items.
Copyright 2016 KING