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story.lead_photo.caption Photo courtesy of the Blytheville Police Department.

Police in northeast Arkansas are trying to identify the thief or thieves who have taken Jesus statues from the grounds of a local church on two recent occasions.

Father Thomas Heart said the Immaculate Conception Church at 1301 W. Main St. in Blytheville has had two thefts since the beginning of the month, including over the weekend when thieves swiped two white statues of Jesus, he said. Two statues were also stolen days earlier.

The thefts happened either at night or in the early hours when nobody was at the church, Heart said.

“I do not know why someone would do this,” Heart said, adding that the person also chipped the paint on a door while trying to break into the church’s rectory. “It’s sad they would do such a thing.”

Heart said two statues were returned on Monday after someone found them in a garbage pile.

The Blytheville Police Department posted photos on Saturday of one of the suspected statue nabbers, who appears to be approaching it outside of the church. It shows a person wearing a coat and a white hat, but the person’s face isn’t clear.

Police had made no arrests as of Monday afternoon.

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