Thieves vandalise Juhu church, steal sacred objects, cash, laptop
The cops are yet to identify any of the accused who broke into St Joseph’s Church in the wee hours yesterday, and left with a ciborium, and breaking other objects
Members of the Catholic community were outraged after the premises of a suburban church were vandalised and several sacred objects were stolen by unidentified accused in the wee hours on Thursday.
Vandalised: When priest Father Vincent D’mello entered the chapel of St Joseph’s Church last morning, he found that the monstrance (a holy relic) had also been stolen; the office had also been ransacked and looted
The accused entered through the chapel of St Joseph’s Church in Juhu and departed with a ciborium that is used to hold the hosts. The accused also took some cash and a laptop from the church office. The Juhu police have registered a case against the unknown accused, but are still clueless about their identity.
On Thursday, around 5.30 am, parish priest Father Vincent D’mello entered the chapel and discovered that a few things were broken. He found that the monstrance (a holy relic) that holds the hosts had also been stolen.
He then proceeded to inspect the office and found that some cash, and a laptop were missing. The Christian community has also been angered because the accused left a picture of Mother Mary that they had picked up on the stairs, on their way out.
Representatives of several Catholic groups visited the police station, demanding that strict action be taken. Judith Monteiro, who visited the church, said, “It is everything for us. No one can even touch it, except the priest and bishop — and such things have been stolen, which is very sad. Such holy things have no monetary value, they’re priceless.”
Another member, Jeanette D’souza, said, “We demand immediate arrest of the accused. It has hurt our sentiments badly. Action should be taken soon. If action is not taken, we may even protest.”
The church authorities are now planning to install CCTV cameras inside and around the church. In the past, three such events have taken place, said the church authorities.
An officer from the Juhu police station said, “We have no leads yet. Also, there are no CCTV cameras inside the church, so identification is also difficult. We have taken pictures and fingerprints. No one has been detained yet.”
Juhu’s St Joseph Church was broken into in the wee hours of Wednesday. The church authorities came to know of it when one of the workers arrived to make preparations for the 6am mass service.
Parish priets Fr Vincent D’Mello said, “A church worker called me up in the morning and told me about the break-in. The gold-plated monstrance on which Jesus is placed is missing. When I went around, I found that a laptop was missing as well as cash from Mt Mary’s statue.”
Senior inspector of Juhu police station Arun Bhagat said, “The incident seems to have taken place on the night intervening Tuesday and Wednesday. We have registered a case of break-in against unknown people and a hunt is on.”