ST. LEO (FOX 13) - Several priceless, historic items were stolen from the monks at the St. Leo Benedictine Abbey in Pasco County.
Five rings and a golden cross are missing. Some date back to the first monks at the monastery - almost 120 years ago. Now, law enforcement is trying to find the person or people who would steal from a church.
The stolen riches were in display cases in the elevator lobby. Some, including the cross, were worn by the very first Abbot, from 1902 to 1929.
Whoever stole the pieces, valued by deputies to be around $15,000, used a power drill to gain access. The doors of the monastery are open to the public daily. Surveillance cameras have now been installed to prevent any future thefts.
“Maybe they have a little bit of value in the market but they value it has historically in the house...it has no value in that sense,” said Abbot Isaac Camacho.
The monks hope to get the historical items back, offering forgiveness to the guilty party.
“For someone to take them is very devastating to the community here at St. Leo. because it represents that beautiful amazing history,” Brother Taten Rupp told FOX 13 News. “Yes, it’s frustrating. Yes, it angers us, and yes, we're hurt, but it’s also our duty as monks to be kind and loving towards all.”
Deputies say whoever is responsible will have to answer to them first, and the man upstairs later. The monks added that the items have far more value at the monastery than they do on the street.