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Police Investigate Possible Hate Crime at Brooklyn Parish

Police in Brooklyn, New York are investigating the theft of a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from in front of a parish rectory as a possible hate crime.

CBSlocal.com is reporting that the statue was stolen from its pedestal in front of the rectory at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Brooklyn. The church's security camera caught a lone thief carrying the statue away at 4:07 a.m. on December 12. It was reported to the Hate Crimes Unit at the local police station on the same day.

“Part of the charm of this block is this statue and this whole area with the church and we just noticed it immediately,” said resident Angelo Ruth.

“It’s a sign of the presence of God among his people. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the most famous expressions of religious devotion in our Catholic world,” said Rev. Manuel de Jesus Rodriguez.

“We are concerned more for the people. We like to leave our two churches open the whole day for people to come to have some quiet time of prayer. Our two churches are full of statues and religious symbols so we really don’t like to think that this is kind of an announcement that a religious attack is happening.”

No one is sure exactly why the thief stole the statue which is why police are investigating it as a possible hate crime.

Thus far, no suspects are in custody.

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