by Cori Hilsgen
St. Joseph Pastor Jerome Tupa said the church hand bells that were stolen from the Catholic church have been found in St. Cloud. He said they were located after the police had put out a notice and the owner of the shop, where they were pawned, contacted the police.
“The alleged perpetrator has about 60-some theft charges against him, and it’s presumed he pawned it to support drugs,” Tupa said.
The three cases of hand bells are valued at $10,000-$14,000.
The monstrance and microphone, stolen at the same time, are still missing. The monstrance, which is used to display the consecrated Eucharist host during adoration or benediction, is valued at about $11,000 and the microphone $150-$200.
Tupa said the monstrance is a very old piece.
“We are not sure how old it is,” Tupa said. “It is probably 60 or 70 years old and is a very historical piece for the parish. It’s a beautiful work of metalwork and to replace it would be very expensive. We are hoping if someone knows where it is they would simply return it. We would be happy to not press charges in order to get it back. That would be sufficient.”
The items were stored in a locked cabinet when they were stolen. The monstrance is a heavy item.
“The person who did this had to have been quite strong,” Tupa said. “The monstrance weighs about 40-45 pounds in its case. They would have had to make more than one trip or there was maybe more than one person.”