Stolen Stew Pots Returned to Durham Church
Posted November 26, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST
DURHAM — Members of a Durham church are counting their blessings. Over the weekend, someone stole several of the church's large, cast iron pots.
Police tracked the pots down when the thieves tried to sell them. Not only are the pots worth a lot of money, they are worth their weight in memories.
Members of Pleasant Green United Methodist Church say when their pots, used to make Brunswick stew, were stolen, the thieves made off with the heart and soul of their church.
"It's been a very important part of our life here at Pleasant Green. For 60 years, parishioners have used the pots for their annual Brunswick stew fundraisers.
Wayne Walker was getting ready for his own family Brunswick stew gathering over the weekend when he discovered five pots were gone.
"People were very disheartened, very upset and rather concerned that someone would have the nerve to steal from the local church," says Rev. David Girod.
With the pots gone, the church lost its major source of income for its missions and its new sanctuary building fund.
A day after they were reported stolen, they were found. An anonymous phone call pointed police to a trading post in Durham.
"The person who sold them to this person said their father had died and they were clearing out all his junk," says Girod.
The church is just glad the pots were recovered. Replacing them would have cost the church $6,000.
Weighing 250 pounds each, police believe this cauldron caper required more than one thief. No arrests have been made in the case yet, but the Orange County Sheriff's Department says it ss working on some good leads.