Police search for Winooski church’s stolen statue

| June 17, 2012

WINOOSKI, Vt. – St. Francis Xavier Parish is more than just a place to pray for Robin McCormick.

"The people of this parish are my friends, many are my family," McCormick said.

She's been a parishioner at the Winooski church for nearly 34 years.

"It's a community," she said. "A wonderful, spiritual community."

And a community now rocked by crime.

"They don't understand it," Monsignor Richard Lavalley said. "I don't either."

A statue of the Virgin Mary was taken from the grotto in between the church and the Catholic school, perfectly placed for decades to watch over kids in the playground. And the school used the statue for student photos.

"That was the hardest part for me, looking at the kids looking up and asking where is Mary? Where is she? It gives them a sense of lost security to some degree," Lavalley said.

It wasn't easy for the crooks to steal the statue. It's 5-feet tall, weighs 250 pounds, and police say there are no signs it was dragged. So, they suspect several people carried it away.

"We are thinking someone took it down to the parking lot and probably put it in a car," Winooski Police Cpl. Bill Sullivan said.

A sister statue remains locked safely in the church's lobby.



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