NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk church is looking for a stolen cross after it was taken from its park earlier this week.
Police were able to recover a stolen statue of Jesus. Thieves took both items from Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk.
Someone unbolted the cross from a Noah’s Ark playground at St. Michael the Archangel’s Park.
Norfolk police say it happened around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday in Ocean View. Staff members saw two men running away from the church with the cross. They left in a red Honda Odyssey van.
Father Dan Beeman, the church’s priest, says the cross was originally part of the church’s convent, which was torn down.
Beeman, who was out of town, says they also noticed a statue of Jesus missing from another crucifix. He says that costs about $2,000 and may be around 100-years-old.
Parishoners were upset to find out about the thefts.
“It’s very sad someone would be doing that especially something so sacred to our church. It’s heartbreaking to know that people are willing to take something like this,” said Liliana Macias.
Macias, who is also a member of the military, was upset that it was taken from the park, dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel in memory of fallen service members.
“For someone to do something where we depend a lot on the church and support and prayers from members, it means a lot,” she said.
Police says the statue of Jesus was found Thursday with an arm missing at Gutterman Iron and Metal Corporation in Norfolk. After it was sold to Gutterman, the business recognized the statue and called police. Investigators picked up the statue and returned it to the church.
Norfolk police say no arrests have been made at this time.
In a statement issued to 10 On Your Side, Father Beeman asked for prayers for the thieves.
We hope that bringing them to justice and prosecuting them will allow them a chance to change their way of life and realize a new path.”