PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Police are investigating the brazen theft of several sacred items, including crosses and collection plates, from a South Philadelphia church.

The incident happened sometime late Sunday night at St. Simon the Cyrenian Church at 22nd and Reed Streets in the city’s Point Breeze section.

According to investigators, the thieves stole two chalices, crucifixes, candle holders and altar bells.

Church employee Helen Johnston says the thieves even stole food from the kitchen and the church’s water meter, leaving the congregation without running water.

Johnston says the items taken from the sanctuary were used in Sunday services, but were gone when the church sexton arrived at about 6 a.m. She says the thieves had gone through the church, breaking open locks on all the storage areas.

She says the stolen items were gold-plated and had belonged to the church for many years, and she doesn’t know how the church is going to replace them.

The detective investigating the theft says he has no suspects and no theory about why St. Simon was targeted. (Related Story: Thieves Strike Mt. Airy Church)

The church had just recently celebrated its 125th anniversary.

Anyone with information about the thefts should call the South Detective Division at 215-686-3013.

Reported By Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio; Walt Hunter, CBS 3

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