MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A Memphis priest said he’s praying for the thieves who stole his car from his home on his birthday.

Father Jeo Poulose, an associate pastor at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, returned to his rectory from his birthday party at around 9 o’clock Tuesday night, and by 10 o’clock, his white Hyundai Sonata was gone.

“It took only five minutes, according to the video footage,” said Father Jeo. “They came here in a white vehicle, and three got out of the car, and one of them broke the window, and within five minutes, they did everything,”

Father Jeo’s home is right behind the Church and just feet from Holy Rosary Catholic School in East Memphis. Cameras from the school captured the theft.

“I knew they had a plan before to steal my car because they did not go to any part of this parking lot,” Father Jeo said.

Father Jeo didn’t discover his car was missing until the next morning. He said a robe that was in his car was discarded not far from his house.

“Unfortunately, it happened on my birthday, and I thought, oh, but now I just pray for them for their conversion. They will change their mind, you know,” he said.

Father Jeo said police found his Sonota the next day. He said it was trashed, and his prayer Bible and other items were missing.

Father Jeo said he knows his vehicle is easy to steal but believes the young thieves are just taking vehicles for joy rides.

“I think these guys have a gang initiation or something like that. I think they do it for fun. They grab a car and trash it,” said Father Jeo. “I think we have to buy a club to lock the steering wheel.”

Father Jeo said while he was at the police department’s impound lot, he was told that car thieves had recently hit that facility.

If you know anything about the car theft near Holy Rosary Catholic Church or recognize the car in the video, call CrimeStoppers at (901)528-CASH.