FORT WORTH – The tiny white frame church on Lackland Road in Fort Worth looks like a postcard from another time; a reminder of a day before metal thieves would harvest brass tributes from a memorial garden.
The Church of Christ the King and All Saints was hit three times this week.
"It's unbelievable. Unthinkable," said church member Steve Murray. "But it's the world we live in today."
A plaque honoring his brother-in-law was among 18 stolen.
Thieves also took a brass plate embossed with a Bible verse that covered the opening to a columbarium. The ashes of several parishioners are interred there. Thieves left the ashes open to the elements.
"It's desecration of a grave," Murray said Thursday.
Surveillance video shows two men rode into the garden on bicycles Tuesday. They chipped away at memorials. One of the men returned the next night.
Detectives studied the images.
Earlier this week, parishioners found a large statue of Jesus in the garden broken and decapitated. Vandals took away the head.
Two years ago, thieves stole a metal baptismal fountain from the garden. Police found it in a scrap yard, but it already had been partially cut up.
Detectives say the crooks will probably have to grind the names off the plaques before they can sell them for about $1.40 a pound.
The church itself was carved into sections and brought to Fort Worth from Parker County in 1975. It was originally built in 1907.
Parishioners in the small Episcopal congregation lovingly put it back together, as they will restore their memorial garden.