Local Religious Figure Claims His Belongings Were Stolen

DUPONT -- A religious figure from our area said he had about $70,000 worth of religious items stolen from him.

Archbishop Melchisedeck of the Palestinian Orthodox Church of America, identified in police paperwork as Ramzi Musallam, just returned from Connecticut. His trip didn't go as expected.

"I had a rough week in Connecticut between my father's funeral service and my family who is sick," Archbishop Melchisedeck said. "It was rough."

He was visiting a sick church member at the Yale Hosptial in New Haven.  A valet parked his car overnight.

"I didn't park in the regular parking lot at Yale Hospital," Archbishop Melchisedeck said. "I decided to let the regular valet take my car. I specifically asked him, 'Is it safe?' because I had some items in my car.

Here's what he says happened next:

"As I was standing outside, the car came and he gives me the key, and I looked to my car, it's a big mess," Archbishop Melchisedeck said. "My glove compartment is open. Everything is like all over. So, I looked at the young man and I said, 'What happened to my car?' he says, "I have no idea.'"

The archbishop claims he had several items stolen from his car: crosses, his crown, $4,000 in cash, his laptop, and several other items. He estimates the value around $60,000-$70,000. The archbishop filed a police report and hopes he gets his belongings back.

"These things to me are very valuable," Archbishop Melchisedeck said. "Very sentimental, very holy."

Newswatch 16 contacted police in New Haven. They said they are still investigating.