Jesus statue stolen from Phoenix church

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Saint Theresa Parish is hoping for some divine intervention after someone stole a statue of Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Charles Kieffer said he noticed the statue missing from outside the parish near 52nd Street and Thomas Road in Phoenix early Saturday morning.

He said a family donated the 4-foot-tall bronze statue to the parish in 2005.

"It was a statue of a welcoming Christ and the whole idea, especially at the entry to our campus, was to convey the fact that all people are welcome here at Saint Theresa and that we're open to all," Kieffer said.

A surveillance camera captured someone loading the statue apparently wrapped in a tarp into the back of a pickup truck driven by another individual.

Kieffer said other churches have reported thefts of artwork, air-conditioning coils and vases that were taken from grave markers.

"It's a shame that people are feeling that they need to pawn other people's goods, other people's metal, in order to make a few bucks," Kieffer said. "And certainly the melted down value of all this metal is far less than the actual replacement cost and the sentimental value in the cases of these items that are stolen from the church or from the cemetery."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department.