CAMPBELL (CBS 5) — Parishioners of a Campbell church located 100 yards from a police station are searching for a porcelain statue that was stolen last week.

A statue of Saint Bernadette was stolen sometime between Thursday night and Friday Morning from the Saint Mary Assyrian Chaldean Catholic Church. According to church members, a thief unbolted the statue and carried it off. The statue has stood outside the church for 15 years.

“The church is not only a house of God but it belongs to the community. So stealing from the community, and God also, is unthinkable,” said Deacon Anthony Garia of Saint Mary’s church.

St. Bernadette statue

The statue of St. Bernadette that was stolen from St. Mary’s Assyrian Chaldean Catholic Church in Campbell. (CBS)

The thieves were not deterred from the church’s location, which is across the street from the Campbell Police Department.

Captain Charlie Adams said officers were busy with a fatal accident across town that night. Investigators have no witnesses, evidence or motive for the theft. Police are searching for leads in the case, and have not named any suspects.

“We’re hoping that the person that stole it would find it in their conscience to bring the item back to the church and replace it undamaged and get it back to its rightful owner where it belongs,” Adams said.

Church members are doing their best to carry on following the theft. “It’s between him and God,” said parishioner Mel Barota. “So hopefully if we get the statue back, he can find it within his heart to ask for forgiveness.”

Deacon Garia had a message for the thieves. “I hope this incident is maybe some kind of catalyst to have him draw closer to God,” he said.

The porcelain statue is valued at $10,000.

Anyone with information related to the theft is asked to call investigations supervisor Sgt. Gary Berg of the Campbell Police at 408-866-2184.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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