CANTON — Police have charged two men with stealing three statues and a brass candle holder on Jan. 29 from a chapel at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 66 Court St.
Arrested Friday were Garrett R. Adolfo, 21, of Morrisonville, a student at St. Lawrence University, and Matthew H. McNeil, 21, of Skaneateles.
The Rev. Bryan D. Stitt, pastor of St. Mary’s, reported the statues stolen on the morning of Jan. 29 from the Chapel of Divine Mercy.
A security camera captured images of the statues being driven away in a pickup truck in the early morning hours of Jan. 29.
The statues depicted St. Joseph, St. Therese of Lisieux and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel holding the Christ Child.
The three plaster statues were found later that morning near Gunnison Chapel on the campus of St. Lawrence University. Police have not recovered the brass candle holder.
According to a report from the Canton Police Department, the items stolen are estimated to be worth $28,700.
“After an exhaustive investigation, and with the assistance from the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office and the St. Lawrence University Safety and Security Department, two individuals have been identified as the suspects involved in this matter,” a police press release states.
Mr. Adolfo and Mr. McNeil were arraigned in Canton Town Court before Justice Michael R. Morgan.
They were each charged with third-degree burglary, three counts of third-degree grand larceny and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, all felonies, and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and three counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief, both misdemeanors.
Both men were released on their own recognizance.
St. Lawrence University would not comment on the status of Mr. Adolfo at the university. A spokesperson provided this statement: “We are aware of and support the ongoing police investigation, and we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement. Due to student privacy policies, it is not our practice to comment on student disciplinary actions.”
They are scheduled to reappear in Canton Town Court at 1:30 p.m. April 24.
Canton Police Chief James R. Santimaw said assistance from St. Lawrence University was vital in making the arrests.
“They were nothing but helpful, from the Safety and Security Department right up to the president’s office,” Chief Santimaw said.
The Rev. Stitt told the Watertown Daily Times that he hopes the statues can be repaired. The figure of St. Therese suffered the most damage, he said.
“I am not sure if that one will be able to be fixed, but the people who do this for a living say they’re optimistic,” he said.
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