Someone ripped off a bronze statue of Jesus from a cross outside the Church of the Transfiguration in Castro Valley, and the pastor thinks the thief may be trying to hawk the holy figure for scrap metal.
Parishoner Mel Speed said he was stunned to get the call about it from his pastor on Wednesday morning.
"I'm angry and frustrated," he said. "I don't understand what would bring a person to stoop to that level."
Father Terry O'Malley believes the theft occurred some time before the 7:30 a.m. Mass from the church at 4000 E. Castro Valley Boulevard.
"I presume it was to make a few bucks to sell as scrap metal," he said.
Until now, the bronze figure has sat undisturbed in its spot for nine years. The church community has alerted the Alameda County Sheriff's Department about the theft.
"Even if you don't believe, I don't understand. Many people are scandalized," O'Malley, said. " We would love to have the figure of Jesus back."