York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire Police appeal for information over church thefts

Bible stand stolen from St Peter's Church in Sicklinghall
Image caption A bible stand from St Peter's Church in Sicklinghall was stolen

Police are appealing for information after a number of valuable items were stolen from churches across North Yorkshire.

The goods, which are valued between £200 and £3,000, have been taken from churches over the past three months.

Since October a number of churches in Knaresborough, Harrogate and surrounding areas have been targeted for expensive furniture.

North Yorkshire Police have urged antique dealers to be vigilant.

Among the items stolen were a wooden table, which is estimated value at about £3,000, was taken on from The Immaculate Conception in Sicklinghal, as well as a solid oak bishop's chair costing £2,000 from Appletreewick Parochial Church.

'Callous and heartless'

Other churches targeted include St Oswald's Church in Arcliffe and St Peter's Church in Sicklinghall.

PC Claire Brown said: "Stealing from churches is a pretty callous and heartless crime and I am appealing to anyone who can help us recover the stolen furniture to get in touch.

"The thefts are likely to have occurred during the day while the churches were open and many of the items are heavy and would have required at least two people two lift them.

"I would also appeal to antique dealers and secondhand shop owners to keep an eye out for the furniture and let the police know if they are offered any of the items for sale."

Anyone with information should contact North Yorkshire Police.

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