The theft of a large metal church bell taken from a Korean church in San Francisco’s Oceanview neighborhood last week has left congregants bewildered.
Police believe the bell was taken from St. Michael’s Korean Catholic Church, located at 32 Broad St., sometime between 9 p.m. Aug. 16 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17, when the parish priest discovered the two-foot-high, bronze-colored bell gone.
According to the church, the bell belonged to a previous congregation at the same location.
The Korean congregation moved into the site in 1994, and the bell remained even though it has no specific religious significance to the current group, according to church member Anna Yoo.
Yoo said she couldn’t understand the motive for the theft.
“Most of our church members are wondering why,” she said. “Not so much who, but why?”
The thieves appeared intent on taking the bell and nothing else, Yoo said.
“They just clearly took the bell,” she said. “The mount is still there.”
The bell’s monetary value is unknown, but for police purposes the church has estimated its worth at more than $400.
“Of course (we’d like it back),” Yoo said. “It was just part of the church.”