Jesus Heist Shock: Church Statue Stolen

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Some grinch stole Jesus!

An unholy Brooklyn robber swiped the 4-foot-high statue from a church in Williamsburg — and police are investigating it as a possible hate crime, authorities said.

The porcelain sculpture was taken from the historical Saints Peter and Paul Parish on South Third Street near Berry Street at 4:10 a.m. Dec. 5, cops said.

The church got the statue about 15 years ago. The parish itself is more than 150 years old and a pillar of the Catholic community in Williamsburg.

Pastor Manuel De Jesus Rodriguez was disgusted by the holiday-season heist.

“We are very sorry that this happened, especially in this time [so] close to Christmas,” he said. “This is a symbol of peace, not just for the Catholic people.”

The statue is meant to illustrate the sacred heart of Jesus, who is shown with his arms open.

Before it was taken, it stood in the front of the parish’s rectory on a stand made of stones. When the thief pulled the statue off the stand, it left a visible imprint behind.

Law-enforcement sources said it is valued at $500. But to Saints Peter and Paul Parish, the dollar amount isn’t important.

“In terms of money, that is not a big deal,” said Pastor Rodrigeuz. “But in terms of religious significance, it is priceless, especially now, this time of the year, when everybody is getting together for the holidays.”

Church volunteer Nelsa Valdez, 56, was heartbroken by the theft. When she came to the parish to show up for her shift, she said she was surprised to see the police there.

“I glanced at where it was. I couldn’t look anymore, so I went inside,” she said. “I am angry and upset because it meant so much to me. What are they trying to do? Why take it?”

Detectives are poring over surveillance video, which shows an unidentified man removing the sculpture from a pedestal and walking off with it, law-enforcement sources said.

“We don’t know the motivation for this but we know the robbery should not have happened at all,” the pastor added.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating, but no arrests have been made yet.

Ray Rodriguez, 20, who has served as an altar boy, said that he was stunned by the Christmastime theft.

“I did everything here — my baptism, First Communion, my confirmation. I don’t know why someone would do that,” he said. “I can never imagine someone doing something like that. That statue is sacred.”

Video Via San Francisco cbs local

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