Nun's rosary beads stolen at knife-point in Massachusetts

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Credit: Michael Swan via Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0) filter added.

A religious sister was robbed while on a walk in civilian clothing on Sunday afternoon in Quincy, Massachusetts, authorities said.

According to a report from a local CBS affiliate, police said that a sister with the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth convent was walking shortly after 2 p.m. when she was approached by Vanessa Young, 26, who was armed with a small knife.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” Young told the victim, according to police reports.

The nun noticed Young's knife and another woman acting as a lookout, so she opened her satchel to reveal a rosary, a key and a small memento. The vows of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth include a vow of poverty.

Vanessa Young told the victim, “I'll guess I'll take the rosary beads,” police said.

The sister then returned safely to her convent and reported the incident to the police.

Soon after, police found the two women matching the sister’s descriptions. Police reported that the pair were found with other stolen items – a checkbook and several cellphones – that had been reported missing during a house break in that occurred in the same neighborhood around the same time as the robbery.  

Vanessa Young was arrested and charged with armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon and breaking and entering daytime to commit a felony.

The woman acting as a lookout during the robbery incident was identified as 26 year-old Crystal Young, the legal spouse of Vanessa Young. Crystal was arrested and charged with armed robbery and accessory after the fact.

The pair pleaded not guilty in court on Monday.

“I was immediately concerned to make sure that they would get the help and that they will get the resources that they need because my heart goes after them,” said Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart, the Mother Superior and founder of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth.

The stolen rosary beads have not yet been recovered.

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