NORFOLK, Va. - The congregation of Holy Trinity Catholic Church wants justice after a cross and a statue were stolen from their church park Tuesday afternoon.
"Pretty rough spot you have to be in to steal the body of Jesus Christ," said Father Dan Beeman.
According to police, two men were seen leaving the Saint Michael Park which is next door to the church around 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Police say the two men got into a red Honda Odyssey after a worker at the church noticed them carrying something under a white sheet. Father Beeman believes it was the cross.
"One of our members came up and saw someone getting into the car and realized that they were out of place, but didn’t realize that they had taken the cross. When we came back over to see why they left the property so quickly, we realized the cross was missing from the ark."
According to Father Beeman, the cross was double bolted to the Ark built in the park for children to play on. The park is dedicated to fallen military members in the community, making the theft even more disturbing.
"They stole a cross from a park for children in a church that was from nuns in a park dedicated to our fallen military,"
After further examination of the park, Father Beeman noticed that the cross on the ark wasn't the only item stolen. A statue of Jesus Christ was also stolen from the outside grotto in the park. According to Father Beeman, the cross is not worth much. Most of its value is sentimental because it is the original cross from the convent that once stood on the property. The statue though, is worth more than $1,000.
"In some way we have to have compassion for the desperation that they must be feeling in life, but on the other side there is a demand for justice for something that really belongs to the people of this community so we really hope to get it back," said Father Beeman.
Father Beeman posted on Facebook on Thursday that a local scrap metal dealer recognized the Jesus statue from news reports and contacted police. The statue had been cut into pieces and one arm is missing but they're hopeful they can repair the statue and recover the missing arm.
Police are asking anyone with information about this crime to take action and call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.