Comments Off on Meth Head Steals Relics from Church to Buy More Drugs

An admitted drug addict has been arrested after heisting several relics from San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura County in hopes of selling the items to buy more drugs.

Ventura police announced the arrest Tuesday following recent reports of nine stolen Catholic church relics, which went missing from the mission’s baptistry on October 12. The L.A. Times explains that since the historical items “had been hanging in a shadow box on the wall,” “their absence from the infrequently used room was only noticed last Saturday.”

Edward Burgess

The Times also details the relics, which “include two medallions holding tiny bone chips of Father Junipero Serra, founder of the California missions, and two others with bone fragments of the Ventura mission’s patron, St. Bonaventure.” Father Tom Elewaut, a pastor at the church, told the Ventura County Star that the “items have spiritual value.”



Video surveillance tapes show the alleged burglar, Edward Burgess, 26, breaking into the baptistry and stealing the relics from the box. Little did Burgess know, the relics hold little street value, especially when unaccompanied by documents verifying authenticity. Said documents were also hanging in the baptistry but were not taken during the heist.

Burgess did, however, mistaken a bottle of holy oil for wine, and after briefly imbibing, promptly spit it out.

The Star describes Burgess as “a Ventura transient,” and he was booked into the Ventura County Jail for commercial burglary, where he also awaits trial for the alleged theft an AT&T mall kiosk in Ventura on Halloween night, according to a release. Additionally, he has been accused of possession of methamphetamines and resisting arrest.

Eight of the nine stolen relics have been recovered, and detectives are working to locate the last item.



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