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Thief targets Bakewell church and try to drill into safe during burglary

The cross was 'caked' in bleach during the Peak District incident

The parish church in Bakewell where thieves attempted to make off with silver items (Image: Derby Telegraph)


Investigations are continuing into the attempted theft of silver and damage to a ceremonial cross at a Derbyshire church which has left local residents shocked and upset. There were concerns that the silver church cross used in funeral and feast day processions at All Saints Church in Bakewell had been irreparably damaged after the suspect threw bleach onto it as they fled.


But Rev Canon Tony Kaunhoven has said that after the incident two weeks ago, the cross was assessed after a forensic investigation had taken place and it had largely been restored. Mr Kaunhoven said: "That was the good news for us. But the bad news was that the safe is probably beyond repair.


"Whoever tried to drill into it did not succeed but the damage means we cannot even open it at the moment and it seems unlikely we will be unable to do so without making it unusable.


"This means we have not been able to use the items inside for our communion services in the past couple of weeks. As well as the sense of violation and desecration, there is the inconvenience and expense of having to replace the safe, and change the church door locks and also we will be improving our CCTV security.

"I understand the police are still investigating and were able to obtain a couple of fingerprints from the crime scene."


The attempted theft appears to have been foiled when an early morning visitor to the church at 5am disturbed the would-be thief who fled out of the west door. The visitor thought that it was someone homeless who had sneaked in for the night but later Mr Kaunhoven discovered the damaged cross and safe and reported the incident to the police.

Mr Kaunhoven added: "It's very disappointing that this has happened and I know it has upset and shocked many people, not only those who attend the church, but who live in Bakewell. Fortunately, no one was injured and we hope that the police investigation is successful."


Derbyshire police confirmed that investigations are still ongoing. A police spokesman said: "We are investigating a burglary at a Bakewell church.

"The incident was reported to us at around 9.50am on April 25 after offenders entered All Saints Church in South Church Street and attempted to drill into the church safe. Nothing was stolen but the processional cross was damaged during the break in.


"Officers are keen to hear from anyone with any information on the burglary, which occurred between 5pm on April 24 and 9am on April 25." Anyone who can help with the investigation can contact the police quoting the reference 23000247947. You can also anonymously contact the independent charity CrimeStoppers, on 0800 555 111, or by visiting the CrimeStoppers website


Source: www.derbytelegraph.co.uk

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