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Stolen chalices returned to Watford church

March 12, 2013, 3:31 pm

Four silver chalices, which were stolen from a church in Watford earlier this year, have been recovered by police and returned.

The items were stolen on Saturday, January 26 when a man entered Holy Rood Church in Market Street and removed them from the alter area.

Following police enquiries, a 40 year old man from Watford was identified and charged with theft. He pleaded guilty on 31 January at Watford Magistrates Court and was sentenced to 28 days in prison.

During his time in custody, officers worked with the offender and gained his trust so that upon release last week (Monday, March 4) he took officers to an area in Watford town centre where he had hidden the items, so that they could be returned to the church.

Detective Sergeant Jo Goodson from the Local Crime Unit in Watford said: “We worked very closely with the offender throughout the case.

“At first he was reluctant to communicate with police about the crime, but through perseverance, we were able to persuade the man to show us where he had concealed the chalices, which was under some bushes at the dead end of an alley way in the Town Centre.

“The priest was overwhelmed when we handed them back to him. In all my years of policing it was a very memorable moment. They were very sacred to the church, having been engraved in remembrance of people who had passed away.”

Father McAleenan, the parish priest at Holy Rood Church said: “We wish to record our thanks to the police officers of Watford who successfully investigated the theft and assisted us assiduously.”

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