Thieves steal altar cross from Leeward Oahu church

| July 17, 2010

A Leeward Oahu church that's been around for more than half a century has been targeted by thieves and vandals in the past — but this time they took more than just material items — they stole something sacred.

The St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Maili is a quaint and cozy place of worship for Leeward Oahu residents like Eva Kum.

"It's where I go every Sunday," said Kum.

But this Sunday churchgoers will face a reminder that their place of holy refuge has been desecrated.

"It's very obvious that it's missing," said Pastor Karen Perkins.

A few weeks ago someone broke into the church and stole the altar cross.

"Honestly you've got to be kidding me," said Perkins. "Who would take it and why would they take it?"

Thieves broke in through a window by removing the glass jealousies and took the cross along with the church fans.

"Its base metal nickel plated so I don't know what somebody would do with it. I really can't imagine somebody other than a church wanting it," said Perkins.

Sadly break-ins and thefts at this community church have happened before.

"And we've had the American flag stolen, we've had the fire extinguishers, the clock," said Perkins.

Church officials say close to everything they have is donated and the cost to replace the cross could add up to more than $1,000.

"If it's no use for you, bring it back," said Kum.

They say they are looking into getting new windows and an alarm system.

"I personally believe that sin is sin and we all sin," said Perkins. "If somebody brought it to me I would be happy to accept it without asking any questions."

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Category: Church Security

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