Church reports statue of Virgin Mary stolen

| April 15, 2010

PALMER — A Palmer landmark went missing Tuesday afternoon. A large statue of the Virgin Mary is gone from the 6-foot tall rock grotto outside St. Michael's Catholic Church on Fireweed Avenue, where it has stood for more than 40 years. Rita Montello, the parish sacristan, said she noticed the statue was gone when she returned to the church Tuesday evening to take care of some business in the office. Other church members have said they saw the statue Sunday. Montello said she thought she remembered it being there Monday, but couldn't say for sure.

The Rev. Thomas Brundage said church members discussed getting the statue cleaned and repaired. Initially, church leaders thought that was the cause for Mary's disappearance, but a quick poll revealed no church members had taken her. Church officials notified police of the theft Wednesday morning.

Brundage said the neighborhood around the church is typically quiet. Palmer Police Detective Sgt. Kelly Turney said churches in that area have generally been exempt from vandalism or property damage.

Montello said replacing the statue, which is 4 or 5 feet tall, would likely cost more than $3,000, not including shipping costs. Anyone with information about the missing statue can call the church at 745-3229, Palmer Police at 745-4811 or Mat-Su Crimestoppers at 745-3333.


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Category: Church Security

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