Archbishop's SUV Stolen During Election

An archbishop participating in the election of the next patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church had his luxury SUV stolen Tuesday morning in central Moscow, city police said.

The Toyota Land Cruiser belonging to the diocese headed by Archbishop Kirill of Yaroslavl and Rostov was reported missing at about 7 a.m. Tuesday, a city police spokeswoman told The Moscow Times.

The archbishop was one of more than 700 electors -- including politicians, businessmen and priests -- who convened in Moscow on Tuesday to choose a successor to Patriarch Alexy II, who died last month.

The SUV was parked on Ovchinnikovskaya Naberezhnaya, near the Novokuznetskaya metro station, the police spokeswoman said, adding that no suspects had been detained and no video footage of the crime was available.

Citing a law enforcement source, Interfax reported that the vehicle was a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, which has a retail price of around $60,000.

A spokeswoman for the diocese of Yaroslavl and Rostov said that she could not confirm or comment on the case.

In 2004, the Yaroslavia television channel reported that customs brokerage company Rostek had given the archbishop a Nissan Patrol jeep so that he could travel around the diocese.

The clergyman told the channel that he needed to use a tractor to reach remote parts of his diocese.