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.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Shooting Near Widener University Prompts Campus Alert

    Shooting Near Widener University Prompts Campus Alert

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:45 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:45:33 GMT
    A report of gunshots just off Widener University led to a campus alert Thursday morning urging school community members to "please remain indoors until further notice," but police have now given the all-clear.
    A report of gunshots just off Widener University led to a campus alert Thursday morning urging school community members to "please remain indoors until further notice," but police have now given the all-clear.
  • Police: Man Tried To Board Plane At Newark With Assault Rifle

    Police: Man Tried To Board Plane At Newark With Assault Rifle

    Police say an Indiana man tried to board a flight for Chicago with an assault weapon at New Jersey's Newark airport.
    Police say an Indiana man tried to board a flight for Chicago with an assault weapon at New Jersey's Newark airport.
  • Evesham Police: Suspicious Package Found In Municipal Complex

    Evesham Police: Suspicious Package Found In Municipal Complex

    Evesham Police: Suspicious Package Found In Municipal Complex

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:13 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:13:28 GMT
    Evesham Police Department are conducting an investigation into a suspicious package found inside the lobby of the Evesham Municipal Complex.Evesham Police Department are conducting an investigation into a suspicious package found inside the lobby of the Evesham Municipal Complex.
    Evesham Police are investigating a suspicious package found this morning by an officer that forced a shutdown of the Evesham Municipal Complex.
    Evesham Police are investigating a suspicious package found this morning by an officer that forced a shutdown of the Evesham Municipal Complex.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Man charged in theft of woman's dog on first date

    Man charged in theft of woman's dog on first date

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:47 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:47:04 GMT
    A man who allegedly stole a woman's Yorkshire Terrier and flat-screen TV during their first date has been charged with two counts of theft.
    A man who allegedly stole a woman's Yorkshire Terrier and flat-screen TV during their first date has been charged with two counts of theft.
  • Brooklyn deli clerk set on fire

    Brooklyn deli clerk set on fire

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:25 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:25:11 GMT
    A store clerk inside of a Brooklyn mini-mart was set ablaze when an enraged sicko threw a Molotov Cocktail into the store.  It happened just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday at the store on Fort Hamilton Parkway.The 34-year-old store clerk had his hair and coat catch fire in the attack.
    A store clerk inside of a Brooklyn mini-mart was set ablaze when an enraged sicko threw a Molotov Cocktail into the store.  It happened just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday at the store on Fort Hamilton Parkway.The 34-year-old store clerk had his hair and coat catch fire in the attack.
  • Conn. teen seeks OK for 22-year-old prom date

    Conn. teen seeks OK for 22-year-old prom date

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:07 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:07:15 GMT
    A Connecticut teenager is appealing to her local Board of Education after school officials rejected her request to bring her 21-year-old boyfriend to her prom.
    A Connecticut teenager is appealing to her local Board of Education after school officials rejected her request to bring her 21-year-old boyfriend to her prom.
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