Burglars Take Items From Burned East Oak Lane Church - New York News

Burglars Take Items From Burned East Oak Lane Church

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

Late last month, a massive blaze destroyed the St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church in East Oak Lane. No one was injured, but the 91 year old structure was left in ruins.

Now, as if to add insult to injury, burglars have struck what remains of the iconic church, leaving its members shocked and angry.

Any church community will tell you it's faith is often put to the test. However, for St. Mary the Protectress, which has served the local Ukrainian orthodox community for more than 40 years, faith has been stretched to the breaking point.

"It's a, it was, a beautiful church...a beautiful house of worship," Church Board president John Prasko told FOX 29.

St. Mary's leaders wandered the iconic structure, destroyed by fire just over three weeks ago, in a daze. No doubt wondering how fate could be so cruel.

"Well, it's a double-whammy," said Steve Harris, a member on the church board. "It was bad enough that a lot of things went up in flames and we could never restore this church … to its former glory."

And now this: burglars broke into what was left of the church early Monday evening and stole several candelabras that had fallen to the floor during the fire. They also took eight large candle stands and a gold-plated challis and discus used in weekly services.

In a side room, the church's main chandelier, gleaming in gold-plate but covered in soot, remained.

"It's too big and they got in through that small window in the cellar," explained Prasko when asked why he thought it wasn't stolen. We asked why anything of value was left in the church after that massive August blaze.

"We were told by the insurance company that the inventory had to be taken by them," said Prasko. "Don't touch anything. Don't remove anything."

The thieves didn't get that message. Now, once again, St. Mary's leaders must pick up the pieces, at least those left behind by thieves.

"Who would do such a thing, you know? It's hard for us to imagine that anybody would steal things from a church, and especially when the church and the parishioners have experienced such a tragedy. I don't know, someone who is heartless?" said Prasko.

A witness called police to report seeing two Hispanic men, one with a beard and the other wearing a red shirt, loading the stolen artifacts into a ford pick-up truck and driving off on Monday evening. This parish saw its faith tested by fire last month. Now, members are left to consider what kind of person would steal from them in their hour of darkness.

  • Bruce Gordon ReportsMore>>

  • Nazi war suspect, 89, dies as extradition OK'd

    Nazi war suspect, 89, dies as extradition OK'd

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:22 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:22:14 GMT
    An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect died in custody hours before a U.S. ruling Wednesday that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial.
    An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect died in custody hours before a U.S. ruling Wednesday that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial.
  • Getting Results: Resident Fed Up With Living Next To Vacant Home

    Getting Results: Resident Fed Up With Living Next To Vacant Home

    Wednesday, June 11 2014 10:24 PM EDT2014-06-12 02:24:23 GMT
    Fox 29 is working to get results for one local woman who fears for her safety.In a region filled with rowhomes, a homeowners’ worst nightmare is the home next door becoming vacant, and slowly disintegrating.Sharon Redwood says she's owned her home on West 6th Street in Chester, Delaware County, for most of her adult life.She says the place next door has been vacant for years.It’s become an eyesore, and a dangerous one at that."The roof has fallen from the third floor, down to the basement. (F...
    Fox 29 is working to get results for one local woman who fears for her safety.In a region filled with rowhomes, a homeowners’ worst nightmare is the home next door becoming vacant, and slowly disintegrating.Sharon Redwood says she's owned her home on West 6th Street in Chester, Delaware County, for most of her adult life.She says the place next door has been vacant for years.It’s become an eyesore, and a dangerous one at that."The roof has fallen from the third floor, down to the basement. (F...
  • Philadelphia Police Says #NoSavesies To Public Parking

    Philadelphia Police Says #NoSavesies To Public Parking

    Wednesday, January 29 2014 7:10 PM EST2014-01-30 00:10:03 GMT
    It follows major snowstorms like day follows night, the practice of using old junk to save the parking space you just dug out!
    It follows major snowstorms like day follows night, the practice of using old junk to save the parking space you just dug out!
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Friday Night Live: July 25, 2014

    Friday Night Live: July 25, 2014

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:31:59 GMT
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, Stephen "Twitch" Boss, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Michael Chernow and Chef Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shop.
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, Stephen "Twitch" Boss, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Michael Chernow and Chef Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shop.
  • G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:37 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:37:26 GMT
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
    The MTA says there will be no service between the Nassau Avenue station in Greenpoint and Court Square in Long Island City until Sept. 2.
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
    The MTA says there will be no service between the Nassau Avenue station in Greenpoint and Court Square in Long Island City until Sept. 2.
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:45 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:45:49 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices