Car thieves rip off man of God; bishop says they’re ‘forgiven’
SEATTLE — Even a man of God isn’t safe from thieves.
Someone broke into a car belonging to the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. One of the items taken was a one-of-a-kind pectoral cross — a gift from the diocese to Bishop Greg Rickel when he was ordained nearly seven years ago.
A sign outside his church reads: ‘God is watching but we also have video.’
It was posted after Rickel’s Toyota Prius was broken into twice in the parking lot.
The warning is keeping burglars away from the church but not from the bishop.
“The back window of my driver side was completely bashed in,” Rickel said.
Thieves targeted his car for a third time on June 8 in downtown Seattle at the intersection of 6th and Stewart in broad daylight.
“A lot of things were missing from it — an iPad, an audio recorder,” Rickel said.
Those items are replaceable — except for one precious cross.
“It’s an intricate hand-carved cross with a seal of a sailing ship design from the diocesan seal in the middle of the cross.
“The cross itself is supposed to look like leaves,” Rickel said.
A Houston artist traveled to churches all over Western Washington picking up pieces of nature, embedding them on the religious symbol.
“The nature of it was to be one of a kind and there was no mold made,” artist Nancy Denmark said.
No mold means it cannot be duplicated. Rickels says the unique item is more than a personal loss.
“You carry them, you wear them on behalf of the diocese; that makes it significant,” Rickel said.
But the bishop isn’t out to prosecute he just wants the thief to make it right.
“They are already forgiven. We have a slot in the door, they can drop it in,” Rickel said.
Rickel doesn’t care how the cross is brought back as long as it gets to his church on at 1551 10th Ave. E in Seattle.
He doesn’t expect Seattle police to spend any time on his case though saying there are more important crimes out there for police to solve.