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Monks say display case holding Padre Pio relics is damaged in hometown chapel in theft bid

ROME (AP) — Monks in the southern Italian town that was home to Padre Pio say would-be thieves damaged a display case in a chapel holding some of the saint's relics.

Father Stefano Campanella told The Associated Press that after the attempted theft the relics, consisting of clumps of the Italian mystic's hair, fabric used to dry his bloody wounds, which some believers say were like those suffered by Christ, and a pair of his gloves, were taken to the monks' convent for safekeeping.

Police searched the chapel in San Giovanni Rotondo on Monday for clues after the overnight incident. They declined to talk about the case.

Authorities said intruders damaged the display's case glass but didn't succeed in breaking it open. The intruders apparently entered and escaped through an open window.