$5,000 reward offered for bishop’s stolen crown

Author: Eva-Marie Ayala
Date Published: 01/31/2008
Photo courtesy Arlington Police Department:  The bishop of the Northwest Region of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America had his crown stolen Friday.
Photo courtesy Arlington Police Department: The bishop of the Northwest Region of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America had his crown stolen Friday.

ARLINGTON — Area Greek Orthodox leaders are offering $5,000 for the return of a bishop’s stolen crown.

If it is returned to one of their parish churches in its original condition, no questions will be asked.

“I don’t foresee that you can walk into a pawnshop ad be able to get rid of it,” said the Rev. Christopher Constantinides, of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas.

Metropolitan Isaiah, bishop of the Northwest Region of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, had just arrived in North Texas from Colorado to visit local parishes. He had not yet checked into his hotel and was having dinner in north Arlington on Friday when someone broke into a parked car and stole his personal items, including a bag containing an ornate crown threaded with gold and silver and inlaid with semi-precious stones and religious icons. It is valued at $10,000.

The crown was given to Isaiah 22 years ago and was made in Greece. Constantinides said the crown, called a mitre, is the bishop’s symbol of his status in the church. While the bishop can perform his duties during services without it, “something is missing,” Constantinides said.

Other religious clothing was stolen as well as a personalized Marine Corps bag that was made for Isaiah by the widow of a fellow Marine. Isaiah served in the Korean War, the priests said.

“He was almost more upset about the bag,” said the Rev. Michael Stearns of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Worth, whose car was the one broken into last week.

The Northwest region of the archdiocese includes 17 parishes in Texas. Isaiah visits the North Texas area a few times each year.

Arlington police said the churches’ reward money could be combined with the Crime Stopper’s reward of up to $1,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call St. Demetrios Church in Fort Worth, 817-626-5578, or go to the church at 2020 N.W. 21st St. Tipsters also may call Arlington Police Detective Dominic DelBiaggio at 817- 459-6486 or Safe City Commission Crime Stoppers at 817-469-8477.