Police investigate heist at Wawel Cathedral

Police are investigating a burglary at the Wawel Cathedral in which the thief took perhaps 1,000 zloty from three collection boxes.When cathedral staff arrived at 06:00, Tuesday, August 28, they found the smashed collection boxes and change scattered on the floor. They also found two doors damaged.

Police believe the burglar hid inside the cathedral until the doors were locked at 22:00, Monday, August 27. A police dog traced the burglar’s scent from the main floor of the cathedral to the attic, where it was lost.So police believe that after the burglar took the money, he apparently went to the roof. He fled when the gates to Wawel Hill were opened for visitors Tuesday morning, police believe. A police helicopter scoured Wawel Hill on Tuesday morning, looking for the burglar, but found nothing.

Church officials say they are lucky that the thief was not a professional. Concentrating on the money, he left many priceless items behind.Cathedral workers say they make a thorough check of the church before it is closed each evening. But surveillance cameras inside the cathedral were turned off for the night ? the usual procedure.

Unfortunately, the crime took place shortly before motion sensors were to be installed in the building. They might have triggered an alarm, preventing the burglary.The cathedral has a special place in Polish history. Kings were crowned there for four centuries, beginning with Wladyslaw I, also known as Wladyslaw the Elbow-High, in 1320.

And most of Poland’s kings are buried inside the church or in crypts below it. The cathedral also contains the silver sarcophagus of Saint Stanislaw. Three non-royal notables who rest in the cathedral are the romantic poets Juliusz Slowacki and Adam Mickiewicz and the political and military leader Jozef Pilsudski.

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