Meriden police are investigating after brass railings outside two different churches in the city were stolen.
“It’s a shame something like that had to happen in this neighborhood, but we all look out for each other,” said Mule Spinelli, who lives nearby St. Rose of Lima Church on Center Street.
He said he caught the crime on his home surveillance cameras, and told NBC Connecticut he gave the video to police.
“He just starting taking the pole apart,” said Spinelli. “It took no longer than 10 minutes. He stacked them right in the garbage can and walked right off through the church like no respect.”
The church pastor, Reverend James Manship, said they noticed the theft last weekend.
“Between last Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, two four-foot sections of bronze railings were taken,” he said.
The railings were there for safety, but they also had sentimental value to the church.
“The church has been here since 1848,” Manship said. “Folks are pretty upset that their church was bothered.”
Meriden police are investigating. Sgt. Christopher Fry said St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Catlin Street was also targeted. Although metal thefts are common, he says thefts from churches are not.
“The reuse value is very low,” said Fry. “Those handrails are specific to the church. The only real value is the metal they are made of which could be scrapped for a small amount of cash.”
Manship says they are working with police. If they can’t recover the railing—they’ll replace them as soon as possible.
“If you knew our parishioners then you would know that nothing would stop them from coming to church,” he said. “We are handicapped accessible on our side entrances. They noticed it and they know we’re on top of it.”