The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) website reports today that thieves made off with six bronze and brass bells -- one of which weighed some 1500 pounds -- from Holy Dormition Orthodox Church in Cumberland, Rhode Island on April 16, 2010.
The theft was discovered by Archpriest Vasily Lickwar, rector, that morning, after he observed a man quickly getting into a van parked in the church's driveway. When questioned, the man told Father Vasily, "I just love to come here with my girlfriend and pray."
The bells were installed at different times during the parish's 102-year existence. One bell originally hung on the Queen Mary, while others came from schools, factories, other churches, and public markets.
Father Vasily said -- based on the value of the metal alone -- the bells were worth about $100,000.
Rhode Island police are investigating the theft.