Thieves targeting churches in Retreat
Cape Town – Another Retreat church has been targeted by burglars, who in recent months have broken into several church premises to steal valuable religious items and equipment.
Retreat’s Calvin Protestant Church secretary, Alec Sassman, said two burglaries took place - recently and in October - at the church.
Sassman was speaking after reading about a burglary at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Retreat during last Saturday night’s load shedding.
“Our pastor, Reverend Jan Cloete, went to the church on January 29 to do some office work. He discovered the kitchen door and its security gate had been forced open.
“He found that a gazebo that we use for Sunday School picnic events was missing. It was a fairly big one and could be worth in the region of R5 000 to R6 000,” said Sassman.
He added that brass handles from a double door were missing and the kitchen trashed.
In November last year, burglars broke into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Belgravia, Athlone, and stole brass items, some of them 120 years old.
Yesterday, the Dean of the Lutheran Church in the Western Cape, Pastor de Vries Bock, said eight of the stolen chandeliers had been recovered.
“They were brought back to us by someone who read the story in the newspapers and could identify them.”
St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church parishioner and parish housekeeper Sharon Cupido said none of the items had been recovered.
The burglars took advantage of load shedding and under the cover of darkness stole consecrated church items valued at up to R12 000.
St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church priest Father Cecil Dowling said four chalices and two brass bells were stolen.
“The four chalices were made of high quality silver. I told the police that the stolen items are worth between R8 000 and R12 000,” Dowling said.
He suspected that the burglary took place between 9pm and 10.15pm, when he was away from the church during load shedding.