BELLEVUE, Ky. – The unthinkable happened not once, but twice at a place that should be revered.
Someone stole five 100-year-old brass candlesticks from Sacred Heart Church. Two were stolen in January. Then three were lifted this week. The person who took the candlestick remained on the loose Tuesday night, while parishioners prayed inside Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
"I feel sorry anytime somebody would, in a sense, deface the house of God," Father Damian Hills said. "It makes me sad and I think it makes the people sad."
"I mean to me it's not natural. I don't know,” John McClain with the Bellevue, Ky. police department said “It kind of goes against as a crime against people, now you got a crime against people and a crime against God."
The sticks were used in a traditional Catholic mass. When done the sticks were placed back in the church’s alter.
"I'm hoping to get some fingerprints off of some stuff. I don't have really have any eyewitness testimony," McClain said.
Parishioners at the church are baffled as to why their church was targeted.
"I can't imagine anybody taking them as scrap," Vic Camm said.
The candlesticks are irreplaceable, making the thefts more difficult to bear.
"The candlesticks are at least 100 years old and have been used as part of the worship of God in this house since 1892, when the church was built," Hills said. "It's true, they're just material objects but since they pertain to the worship of God they have a special significance."
Right now, McClain prays for a confession, or scrap dealer who might come forward with another lead.
"Maybe the subject who may have bought these at a scrap yard or bought 'em off somebody is going to say 'hey this isn't right," he said.
In the meantime, parishioners locked up the church’s remaining brass, and continue on in their faith.
Sacred Heart isn't alone. St. Henry Catholic Church in Elsmere also had bronze candlesticks stolen.
Together, the churches hope police can track down the special candlesticks.
WCPO reporter Bryce Anslinger contributed to this report.