Thieves steal life-size bronze Jesus off cross

A Castro Valley catholic church is hoping the people responsible for taking a life-sized bronze statue of Jesus Christ from the church grounds last week will return it.

The statue stood outside the Church of the Transfiguration, located at 400 E. Castro Valley Blvd., for nine years before it was taken sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, according to the church’s parochial administrator Father Terry O’Malley.

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Church officials noticed the figure was missing from the cross it was bolted to after Wednesday morning mass.

Church officials notified the Alameda county sheriff’s office that same day, according to spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson.

Deputies are currently investigating the incident, Nelson said.

O’Malley said he thinks two or three people may have been involved in the alleged burglary, since the statue was very heavy. He also believes the suspects may have taken the statue because of its metallic value.

O’Malley said because the church is situated away from the main road, an incident like this is unusual:

“We have relatively been free from any vandalism for years. …¬†This is the first time anything like this has happened.”

The church is looking into putting up security cameras soon.¬†Although the church is hoping to get the statue back, O’Malley said they are not looking for retribution:

“That’s not our sentiment, we’re willing to forgive and forget.”