Angel Statue Stolen from Shrine

By: Robert Borrelli
By: Robert Borrelli

We've all heard about the skyrocketing problem of scrapping, which is the theft of metal for cash.

On Monday, a new low for what may be this type of crime was reported in Porter County.

A part of a shrine to the crucifixion of Christ was ripped off its base and stolen.

While the shrine is no longer a part of the church, neighbors say it was a unique place to go and meditate, relax and reflect.

Now, they want to know what devil would steal a statue of an angel.

Mary Hawkins walks through the former shrine all the time.

It’s now a part of her subdivision and Sunday she noticed one of two copper angels missing.

Hawkins says, “Sunday morning I usually walk, like 10 o'clock or so, I always try to walk through here and look around and I noticed right away that the statue was gone."

Mary said she was brought to tears and said, "I'd like that angel back!”

Sgt. Tim Emmons is the public information officer for the Porter County Sheriff’s Department. He said Wednesday, "I think this type of crime is a stab in the heart of the community. This is a shrine that's been here for decades."

The land the shrine sits on is directly behind Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. It was sold-off and became a subdivision.

The angel, a mirror image of the one on the left side of the crucified Christ is five feet tall.

The theft will be this week's Crime Stoppers "Crime of the Week" for Porter County.

Emmons says, "It's almost beyond understanding why someone would come and do this for kicks or to own the statue, or for the few hundred dollars they're going to get out of the copper on it."

The Porter County Sheriff's Department says several arrests have been made recently tied to people stealing metal to sell for scrap.

And, in the past week, eight churches in Lake and Porter County have been burglarized.

Investigators are hoping media exposure will lead to arrests.

Neighbors, like Mary Hawkins beg whoever took the statue to return it. "Please, please bring it back," she said.

Porter County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1000 dollars for information leading to an arrest.

They believe the angel statue was ripped from its base sometime over the last weekend.

Call Porter County Crime Stoppers number at 1-800-342-7867 if you have any information.

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