NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Police are searching for a man caught on surveillance video attempting to steal a statue from the lawn of a Queens Catholic Church on Sunday.
The man is seen on video picking up a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary outside of St. Gerard Majella church in Hollis, removing it from the grotto, putting it over his shoulder and fleeing.
Moments later, the man is caught on tape throwing the statue back into the rectory garden after he was deterred by a neighbor and motion sensor light.
No damage was done to the statue.
“Sunday morning, as we started opening up the church to welcome people to pray in a special way for peace in the world, and blessings during this Lenten season, a disturbed person attempted to steal our welcoming statue of Mother Mary, said Father Josephjude C. Gannon, Pastor of St. Gerard Majella. “Thankfully, due to our good neighbors in Hollis, this person did not succeed. This incident is sad, and a bit scary, but is a lesson for all of us that even in those dark and frightening moments God is protecting us. The light of Easter will always shine on us and Mother Mary will always guide us as individuals and as a community.”
Anyone with information is being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.