Tucson church robbed of St. Jude statue

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On the South Side of Tucson sits Santa Monica Catholic Church, a staple in the community since 1964.

“Oh it's a center of everything,” said Rosita Peralta, an office manager at Santa Monica. “Very important.”

But early Sunday morning, Peralta says someone made Santa Monica the center of attention for all the wrong reasons.

“On Sunday morning, someone cut the electricity to the church. Then cut out the lights to the recording camera,” Peralta said.

Then, someone broke in through a window and tried to get to the safe -- with no such luck, so they stole $10 from the poor box at the front of the church.

Next, church staff members say the burglars took a sledgehammer to a big copper, holy water container out of frustration.

After that, they snatched a three foot statue of St. Jude from the church's back corner.

“The statue itself is very light. It's fiberglass,” Peralta said. “And it has the flame of the holy spirit and the halo.”

She says St. Jude is an important figure to the church, and the Hispanic community.

“It's a saint of the impossible. And we go through impossible times,” she said.

Meanwhile, people in the community express their outrage.

“I think it's pretty horrible cause this church has a lot of stuff for people,” said Monet Martin, a student at San Miguel High School. “And I mean, it helps our school.”

“It makes me angry because I'm sure people paid a lot of money to have statues,” said Gloria Moreno of Tucson.

Peralta says the statue is worth about $1,000, but the monetary value isn't important.

“It's not. It's the loss,” Peralta said. “It's like the loss of a family member.”

Now, she hopes finding the patron saint of lost causes, isn't a lost cause.

Meanwhile, church staff members say they will reimburse anyone who buys the statue, or they will take it back from anyone who returns it with no questions asked.