Reporting Elizabeth Hur
By Elizabeth Hur
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - An Eyewitness News Exclusive – A thief struck at a South Philadelphia church, taking the unthinkable.
Baffled and bothered, parishioners and neighbors want to know who turned a crucifix into a cross.
Florinda Bevivno, an eyewitness explained, “The difference between a crucifix and a cross is the body of Christ is on the crucifix and he pulled the body off.”
We’re told someone somehow managed to run away with the statue of Jesus that was bolted down.
Bevinvo added, “Sounded like something fell, like a box fell, so when I heard the noise, I got up and I looked out and I saw a figure over there and so I got my glasses on and by that time, he was already across the street.”
Bevivno told police it happened just before 3 a.m. Wednesday in the court yard of the famed St. Paul Parrish in South Philadelphia on Montrose Street, the first Italian parish in the country.
“I feel bad about it. You don’t know what to do with it.”
The church worker asked to remain anonymous but shared with us, he is saddened to see his church, so rich in history, is not immune to heartless criminals.
Dolly Brino, a parishioner said, “They have nothing else to do with their time. They’re just, I don’t know. It’s a shame.”
Brino’s daughter, Janet added, “It’s sad. The only thing I guess we can do for these people is pray for them.”
Parishioners believe the thief may have been tempted because the crucifix was recently painted gold and the thief thought the statue was worth more than it actually is.
Whatever the motive, police are investigating but at this time the only information they have to go on is that the suspect is a tall, thin male of unknown race, who was last seen running north on 8th Street.