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Thieves have caused outrage by raiding the home of a Catholic bishop.

They stole a number of his possessions including a precious ring given to him on a trip to Jerusalem.

The crooks got in through a back window of Bishop Joseph Devine's new house.

And they escaped with the ring that held great sentimental value for him.

Bishop Devine, of the Diocese of Motherwell, moved into the house in Hamilton earlier this year.

A spokesman for the bishop said yesterday: "A few other houses in the area have also been the target for burglars.

"The bishop sympathises with the householders as he now fully understands that it is not just your house getting broken into, it is also an invasion of your privacy.

"It is shocking and I know of no bishop ever having his home broken into but I suppose there is a first time for everything."

Detective Constable Jim Meiklejohn, who is heading the inquiry, added: "The community is outraged by this.

"I have never heard of a bishop's home being broken into before.

"We are following a line of inquiry and believe that the robbery may be drug- motivated.

"We would appeal for anyone who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area to contact us."

The break-in happened between 3.30pm and 6pm on Tuesday.

The crooks took the gold ring with a Jerusalem Cross inset in a gemstone, a watch, video recorder and jewellery belonging to his housekeeper.

The bishop's spokesman added: "I can confirm that the ring has high sentimental value."
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Author:Griffiths, Stuart
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 26, 1997
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