Theft and Arson in Church

Country: Italy

Date of incident: April 10, 2024

At the church of Castelvecchio di Compito in the Lucca region, a 37-year-old man stole objects worth over 10,000 euros from the oratory, which included liturgical objects dating back to the early 19th century such as two candelabra and a wooden canopy. He set fire to the parish premises and fled.

The fire brigade worked until dawn to tame the fire, but the building was rendered unusable. Before entering the oratory, the perpetrator had also attempted to break down the door of the nearby church. Two witnesses saw the perpetrator. The police tracked and arrested the man. The stolen goods were retuned to the parish. 

The perpetrator is a 37-year-old Italian, a local resident who is already known to the police for previous crimes. 

The parish priest, Don Nando Ottaviani said about the arson: "I thank the police and the firemen who did their utmost to save what could be saved. The community is losing a very important reference point for children and adults. Now we have to roll up our sleeves".