By most accounts, a burglary here would be considered off limits.
But a Fort Worth church was not off limits for a burglar or burglars.
Police are investigating a break-in at Saint Timothy Church along Mitchell Boulevard Saturday morning.
The church has been hit before, according to Bishop Keith Ackerman.
However, he says this break-in is particularly disheartening.
“Inside is where we keep the Blessed Sacrament,” said Ackerman. “They had forced the lid off and forced off the purple vestment you see there, cloth there, trying to get inside.”
The thief targeted the locked tabernacle below the cross on the altar.
“That someone would break in and would try to rip off the very presence of Christ from the altar is very disconcerting, especially since we’re entering into the Advent and Christmas season,” said Ackerman.
He says someone broke a window near the front door of the church.
The church’s security cameras and security system did not capture the break-in.
“This is about the sixth time this year,” said the bishop.
Fort Worth police say two break-ins have been reported at the church, others may not have been reported.
“This time they hit our hearts,” said Ackerman.
He says it’s difficult to understand why someone would dare target the tabernacle, but also stealing several silver bowls, plates and a silver vase used in the Eucharist and even a gold-lined chalice.
“There is, I suspect, desperation, poverty, dependency and frustration with life and I don’t know if I can attribute that to one element but the reality is I’d like to help them,” he said.
The burglar also appears to have taken cleaning products and two vacuum cleaners.
Ackerman is keeping a sense of humor in the face of such an act.
“This is the one place they didn’t go,” he said opening the door to a small room before bursting into laughter. “The confessional.”
Ackerman said they reported the burglary Saturday morning to Fort Worth PD, but had to wait about 9 hours before officers arrived to investigate.
It was a low priority call, said Ackerman.
“It once again shows that we don’t have enough policemen,” he said.
Fort Worth police say if a burglar breaks into a home or business their neighborhood police officers are able to do a walk-through with the victim to provide recommendations on how to try and prevent being targeted again.