Church’s rugs stolen out from under its feet |

Church’s rugs stolen out from under its feet

Sunday services held at the outdoor chapel of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Tahoe City will be a little bare this weekend since several of the church’s century-old, hand-made rugs were allegedly stolen.

On Friday, June 23, Tammie Ewers, church secretary, said she spotted a man walking along the nearby bike path with a bundle of rugs tucked under his arms.

“I was coming back from getting the mail,” Ewers said, recalling that she immediately recognized that the rugs the man was carrying were from the church’s outdoor chapel.

She said she approached the man and was able to recover the items.

“He told me he found them,” Ewers said.

The rugs were commissioned specifically for the chapel by Native Americans more than 100 years ago. Ewers said the rugs are decorated with religious symbols and crosses.

However, on July 2 as the church was setting up for Sunday’s outdoor service, Father Leonard Shaheen and church staff realized four of the rugs, two large and two small, were missing from a storage area, the door of which had been forcibly opened, Ewers said.

The church filed a police report on July 5 with the Placer County Sheriff Department.

Ewers said she speculated the person who allegedly took the rugs was looking for something of value. Placer County Deputy Sheriff Travis Higgins said the odds of finding the missing rugs aren’t good.

“It’s not likely because it happened two weeks ago,” Higgins said.

Higgins said it is likely the person Ewers encountered has left the area, but police will continue checking transient camps in the area using Ewers’ description of the man.

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