Explosives used to steal chalice from Dorset church safe
Date of alert:
Saturday, 13 May 2023
A criminal gang which uses explosives to get to tens of thousands of pounds of sacred silver is feared to be targeting churches across the country.
The thieves are believed to have hit four churches so far for their historic chalices, candlesticks, crucifixes and plates locked away in safe storage.
One holy heist saw 25 pieces of communion silver, including a 450-year-old Elizabethan chalice worth £30,000, stolen from a locked safe in the vestry of Lady St Mary Church in Wareham.
The burglars smashed a lead window to get into the Grade I listed, 10th century building and used angle grinders to break open heavy oak doors.
They then drilled a hole in the door of the 3ft tall safe before placing explosives inside to force the door open.