WARWICK — Copper thieves have struck St. Francis Xavier Shrine, according to the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office.
Sometime between Dec. 20 and Jan. 2 is when it is believed the theft of six gutters, 10 to 20 feet in length each, were pulled off the historic church in the 1600 block of Bohemia Church Road in Warwick.
A representative of St. Francis Xavier Shrine, owned by the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, discovered the theft and contacted the sheriff’s office Jan. 2. The building also sustained damage as the suspects ripped the gutters off the 108 year old church building.
“(The damage) ... was consistent with the suspects physically attempting to remove them,” read a CCSO report on the crime.
The estimated loss is $2,500.
St. Francis Xavier was founded by Jesuits in 1704, at a time when Catholic churches could not be built in the new world. So it was called a rectory until some 80 years later when that edict expired. The church on site today is a replacement after a 1912 New Year’s Day fire destroyed the original structure.
Anyone with information should contact Detective Bryan Rock at 410-392-2121.