A pair of thieves were caught on camera taking valuables from a historic church Thursday night in Omaha, Nebraska.
Video footage from two surveillance cameras show the barefoot couple in the church sanctuary, collecting items as they walk back and forth inside the building. The footage was recorded between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Thursday night.
Reverend Jason Catania, the senior pastor at St. Barnabas Catholic Church, said he estimates that altogether, the items stolen were worth $3,000 to $5,000. The pastor said most of the items taken were “minor,” but the processional cross stolen by the thieves was given to the church in 1877 and was therefore a considerable loss to the congregation.
“It’s somewhat more sentimental value than anything, but a very fine piece,” the pastor commented. Catania added that he had no idea how the couple were able to enter the church building, as there were no signs of forced entry.
St. Barnabas was founded in 1869 and celebrated its 150th anniversary on June 15 of this year. The church was originally Episcopal, but felt it had become more Catholic in their beliefs in recent years.
“We are grateful to be reaching this milestone,” Catania said a few days before the celebration. Sadly, the congregation is now trying to recover from the recent robbery.
The pastor said he made a police report and asks anyone who knows the whereabouts of the items to contact authorities. The church also posted the surveillance video to their Facebook page in hopes someone would be able to identify the couple.
“Pleased share this freely on social media in the Omaha area with the hope of identifying this man and woman. Any tips please PM to this page or the Omaha Police Dept. The worst theft at this time appears to be the processions cross which was a memorial given in 1877 to the parish,” the post reads.
However, Catania said he thinks the reason for the theft was because the couple were experiencing some kind of hardship in their lives.
“I can only imagine that they have difficult circumstances in their lives that brought them to this so I pray that, I pray for them,” he said.