Ottawa

Navan's St. Mary's Anglican Church pleads for return of records

A safe stolen from St. Mary's Anglican Church in Navan last week contained the birth and death records of parishioners going back several decades, and the church is pleading for its safe return.

Safe stolen from church contained birth and death records of parishioners

Reverend John Wilcox says the records stolen from St. Mary's Anglican Church in Navan are important to the community. (CBC)

A safe stolen from St. Mary's Anglican Church in Navan last week contained the birth and death records of parishioners going back several decades.

This book of records was not in the church's safe. Reverend John Wilcox is asking for the return of records that were contained in the safe." (CBC)
There was no money in the safe but the church is making a public plea to the thief or thieves to return its book of records.

Reverend John Wilcox told CBC News that while the records are of no financial value, they mean a lot to the community and its sense of history.  

Mary Dashney, the caretaker at the church, said she realized something was wrong when she arrived at work with her husband on Friday to set up chairs for Sunday school.

"I saw the office door open and, just every door was open. Then we looked around and walked around and saw the west exit door just a bit ajar. It was not open enough to let too much cold air in but it was ajar," she said. "We then saw the tracks coming in because there was a bit of snow out there."

She searched the office and found that the safe was missing. It used to sit on top of a TV, which was out in the middle of the floor, she said.

Ottawa police believe the small, grey Sentry brand safe was stolen sometime between Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. and Feb. 6 at 3:30 p.m.

The record book is 11 inches by 8 ½ inches. It's black with red bindings around the edge, police said Tuesday.

"The church is eager to retrieve this item as soon as possible and has advised that the person(s) responsible can anonymously drop off the record book on the steps of the church," police said in a media release.