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Long Beach police release sketch of 'person of interest' in theft of 780-year-old St. Anthony relic

June 13, 2011 |  9:52 pm

Long Beach police Monday night released a sketch of a "person of interest" in the theft of a  780-year-old religious relic that is displayed annually as a tribute to St. Anthony.

The theft was reported Monday morning at St. Anthony Church, near 6th Street and Olive Avenue, according to the Long Beach Police Department. Person of interest

Officials with the Los Angeles Archdiocese said the 16-inch relic in honor of St. Anthony, housed in an elaborate casing, was taken from a church cabinet.


In Catholicism, St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost or missing things. The relic was stolen on the anniversary of St. Anthony's death 780 years ago, church officials said.

The relic is displayed only once a year to honor  St. Anthony and was given to the church named for him when it was first established 110 years ago. St. Anthony's was the first Catholic Church in Long Beach and served the entire city.

Long Beach police said the person of interest in this case is an unidentified heavy-set Latina woman in her 30s, about 5 feet to 5 feet 3, with dark, wavy, unkempt hair. Witnesses told police she was acting suspiciously in the church the day before the theft.


780-year-old relic stolen from Catholic Church in Long Beach

-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter: @anblanx) and Robert J. Lopez (Twitter: @LAJourno)

Photos: Sketch of person of interest in the case. Credit: Long Beach Police Department