Blytheville Police looking for church statue thief

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. — Blytheville Police say they're looking for the thief who stole statues from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. They say the thief may have struck more than once.

Pictures on the police department's Facebook page show a suspect wanted for stealing a statues of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Joseph.

"It's real sad. It's sad when you come to the church and take Godly things. You can't set nothing out these days. Lord have mercy," resident Sheila Martin said.

It's not the first theft of religious icons from the church on Main Street. Statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Joseph holding baby Jesus were stolen May 4. The were found Monday morning and appeared to be undamaged.

The statues were found in a vacant lot on Ash Street, not far from the church. They weight about 40 pounds each and are valued at $200 a piece.

"Now, how do you think these people are going to feel Sunday when they come to church and they can't see they statues they used to looking at every Sunday," Martin asked.

No one at the church would go on camera. However, Dennis Lee, with the Catholic Diocese in Little Rock, Arkansas, sent a statement saying, "It is terrible that someone would steal statues. We are grateful for the two that were found and returned today. It would be nice if whoever took them could be stopped before anymore thefts committed."

If you know who's responsible, officers say call Blytheville Crime Stoppers.

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