Gangs in Mexico and throughout Latin America are now turning their attention towards religious artifacts, as a string of robberies are being reported at churches and other religious institutions.
Some churches are being forced to close and lock their doors when Mass in not in session to prevent criminal gangs from stealing artifacts thought to be priceless.
Thieves have reportedly even gone into churches claiming to be restoration specialists to get close enough to the artifacts to swipe them from the church. They even show false references and documentation to support their claims.
Other robbers however have less refined plans and simply break in (or walk in in some cases) and steal whatever might be of value.
Catholic newspaper, El Observador, has reported that religious artifact theft has jumped 600 percent in just two decades.
In a town east of Mexico City, authorities have revealed that 600 pieces of religious art have been stolen in the last 10 years.
Sadly, the majority of artifacts have not been recovered, and Mexican authorities have said they believe at least 42 percent of thefts in the country are related to organized crime.
Read full article here.