GARDNER (CBS) – Gardner police recovered items stolen from a local church when someone reported seeing a man wearing a priest’s robe in an abandoned building.
Rev. Thomas Tokarz, of St. Joseph Catholic Church, said on Friday the 13th, someone broke through a back window and then into a downstairs office. He said what was stolen was not locked up – religious books, candle holders, and ornate robes used for mass.
“They probably could have taken the chalices, but they didn’t. They took the vestments, which means nothing to them. The only one who can wear them are priests,” said Tokarz.
The specific items have no value on the open market.
Officers found all the items when the responded to a call of a man running through an abandoned building wearing priestly robes.
They arrested three 22-year olds from Gardner: Jonathan Boudreau, Shawn Mason and Shane McCaffrey. They are charged with receiving stolen property, and breaking and entering into the abandoned building.
Officers say they have a motive for the crime, but they are not making it public until they finish the investigation into who broke into the church. They do say the motive was not for a satanic or anti-religious ceremony.
Officers expect the three will face additional charges.
None of the church’s stolen property was damaged and it has all been returned to the church.
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