Belfast Telegraph

Cross stolen from church as women were praying

After an appeal for information over Facebook, the crucifix was recovered by the PSNI on Wednesday evening (stock photo)
After an appeal for information over Facebook, the crucifix was recovered by the PSNI on Wednesday evening (stock photo)

By Christopher Leebody

Police have recovered a brass crucifix stolen from St Michael's Church, Newtownhamilton, after it was taken by a young man in front of shocked parishioners.

The incident was reported to police at around 9.20am on Wednesday morning after the young man, believed to be in his early 20s, ran into the church and stole the crucifix from the altar before fleeing on foot.

Several women were said to be in the church at the time praying, with one who witnessed the events explaining on social media that those in the church were "in shock and fearful" in case the man turned on them.

The marble top of a candle shrine is believed to have been damaged after being turned over and falling on the floor, with the floor itself suffering damage as the man attempted to make off with the object.

Writing on Facebook, Jean Rushe said: "Thankfully there were no candles lit or it could have been a lot worse.

"He then ran up to the altar and stole a brass crucifix and ran out the door.

"There were two ladies quietly praying in the church who were in shock and fearful in case he turned on them, but thankfully he didn't.

"They were very upset and shocked to say the least."

After an appeal for information over Facebook, the crucifix was recovered by the PSNI on Wednesday evening.

In a statement, a PSNI sergeant said: "It was reported that around 9.20am on Wednesday, August 21 a small cross was stolen. The cross was later recovered and will be returned."

Belfast Telegraph

From Belfast Telegraph