The priests woke up for morning mass on Saturday and realised that their doors had been bolted from outside.

After locking priests in their rooms burglars steal Rs 4 lakh from Kerala churchPhoto courtesy: St Xavier's Forane Church/Facebook
news Crime Saturday, March 09, 2019 - 16:19

A church in Kottayam witnessed a burglary in the early hours of Friday after unknown persons broke in and took Rs 4 lakh. The burglary took place after the vicar and priests of the church had been locked in their rooms at night. The incident took place in the St Xavier’s Forane Church in Thrikkodithanam on Friday.

“At around 3 or 4 am in the morning, the Vicar of the church woke up to get ready for Saturday mass when he realised that he had been locked in. When he alerted the other priests, all of them realised that they too have been locked up,” an officer from the Thrikkodithanam police station told TNM.

When the priests phoned the security guards on night duty in the church to come and unlock their doors, the guards discovered that all the doors had been latched in.

“The burglars had stolen around Rs 4 lakh by breaking open the cupboards inside the office room below the priest quarters. They had snuck into the church by removing the plywood portion of the glass and wood entrance door of the church,” the officer added.

Witnesses told the police that two steel cupboards had been broken open and the lockers were left open. Apart from the cash, a few documents were also missing from the cupboards.

The Thrikkodithanam police registered a case under sections 457 (Lurking house trespass or house breaking by night) 461 (dishonestly breaking open receptacle containing property) and 380 (Theft in dwelling house) of the IPC.

“We are still investigating who is responsible for the theft. No arrests have been made yet in the case and persons are yet to be identified,” the officer added.

According to reports, a forensic team and fingerprint experts came along with sniffer dogs to collect evidence from the site of the burglary.

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